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Mada Suyyagh
* 1979, Jordanian,
Reporter for Al Arabija Satellite TV

Al Arabija receives criticism from all sides: the USA resented the station broadcasting messages from Saddam Hussein during the war. Many Arab viewers on the other hand were shocked by the station carrying out an interview with George Bush. Mada studied journalism at the American University in Cairo. It was like starting to learn all over again when she began at the Arab satellite station where she firmly believes in the work she does. Mada previously worked for Aljazeera in Qatar. Contact was made during his time before Qatar became too boring for her.

Mada Suyyagh. I am a writer, reporter for al Arabiyya. I am Jordanian originally. I have both Jordanian nationality and the Canadian citizenship. So that’s it. In brief.

Dubai has some good sides about it, I would say. It’s young place and it’s productive if you like what you do. So it’s a place where young people essentially come and starting off working long hours but on the other side there are a lot of venues where you can go and meet new people and all of that. So Dubai is – as you can see – very European or American or all together. Its just global. Dubai is the furthest thing in the Arab world from beeing arab. Its all multinationals, it’s foreign investment its all new it has no Arab history in it. Most of the people speak, well, not Arabic. You hardly see any locals. So Dubai is not very far from beeing American except for the fact that its not a hard life. Because everything is done for you. It’s all services. Dubai is all about services.

Jordan and Europe: There are many differences in culture in the way people think, because of culture, because of religion. It’s a closed, more conservative society where tabus still exist. I don’t say they don’t exist in other places. But its culturally more embedded and its still there that tabus still exist.

I am generally just speaking of myself and I am not your average Arab. I don’t think there is an average Arab. If I where to talk about myself and the people my age living in Dubai its very different from people my age living in Jordan. And someone my age living in Qatar. I don’t think any of us can speak for the Arab population. I don’t think that any one in France can speak for the whole EU-youth.

Politics has managed and the media, both have managed to emphasize the differences and they have taught us the these differences are something you shouldn’t tolerate and that they are bad for you. That’s what you emphasize over here, you know, about what you would refer to as the West and that’s what they emphasize about us. Everything Arab is bad, everything Muslim is bad. For us everything American is bad and anything Western is bad and it’s unreligious and unethical and they take their clothes off and they go clubbing and its all about drinking and about sex and whatever and to us …to them, sorry its …we are the dumb Arabs that ride camels and walk around with machine guns and kill people all the time. And it has managed to make people a lot less tolerant, I think.

We all feel pain, we all feel love, we all feel…we all have our ups and we all have our downs and we all laugh at a certain point. And a lot of times we laugh about the same stuff and we cry about the same stuff. Why can’t we emphasize the human stuff rather then emphasize the stuff we don’t have in common or we don’t share. I think the media should try to emphasize on these things. As youth we spent most of the time either on computers or we watch TV or even down to the simple things like a sit-com or we could do movies or whatever and start emphasizing things that we have in common.

Yeah, I’d like to say: Make your own judgements. And don’t believe most of what you see and half of what you hear and always doublesource because nowadays our source is the media and coming from a person that works in the media...I am not saying that we are not reliable, but we always come with an opinion. Everybody comes with an opinion. It can be a little opinion it can be a big opinion but in the end there is an opinion and you should learn to make up your own. And that requires a lot of education. So read a lot about somewhere and read about the people and than keep an open mind. Let’s try to look for common grounds! We have so much more in common than we have differences. So much more and if we emphasize these I think we will be okay. So let’s make that our mission and not the differences and the policies and who killed who and what war is going on and who elected…in the end of the day we are all human beings and we all need to live, and to eat and we all need to sleep and we all need to feel safe. And we all need to be educated and have health care and all of that. It’s a need in every part of the world. So, let’s just try to get along as long as we can. Mada Suyyagh. I am a writer, reporter for al Arabiyya. I am Jordanian originally. I have both Jordanian nationality and the Canadian citizenship. So that’s it. In brief.

Dubai has some good sides about it, I would say. It’s a young place and it’s productive if you like what you do. So it’s a place where young people essentially come and starting off working long hours but on the other side there are a lot of venues where you can go and meet new people and all of that. So Dubai is – as you can see – very European or American or all together. Its just global. Dubai is the furthest thing in the Arab world from beeing arab. Its all multinationals, it’s foreign investment its all new it has no Arab history in it. Most of the people speak, well, not Arabic. You hardly see any locals. So Dubai is not very far from beeing American except for the fact that its not a hard life. Because everything is done for you. It’s all services. Dubai is all about services.

Jordan and Europe: There are many differences in culture in the way people think, because of culture, because of religion. It’s a closed, more conservative society where tabus still exist. I don’t say they don’t exist in other places. But its culturally more embedded and its still there that tabus still exist.

I am generally just speaking of myself and I am not your average Arab. I don’t think there is an average Arab. If I where to talk about myself and the people my age living in Dubai its very different from people my age living in Jordan. And someone my age living in Qatar. I don’t think any of us can speak for the Arab population. I don’t think that any one in France can speak for the whole EU-youth.

Politics has managed and the media, both have managed to emphasize the differences and they have taught us the these differences are something you shouldn’t tolerate and that they are bad for you. That’s what you emphasize over here, you know, about what you would refer to as the West and that’s what they emphasize about us. Everything Arab is bad, everything Muslim is bad. For us everything American is bad and anything Western is bad and it’s unreligious and unethical and they take their clothes off and they go clubbing and its all about drinking and about sex and whatever and to us …to them, sorry its …we are the dumb Arabs that ride camels and walk around with machine guns and kill people all the time. And it has managed to make people a lot less tolerant, I think.

We all feel pain, we all feel love, we all feel…we all have our ups and we all have our downs and we all laugh at a certain point. And a lot of times we laugh about the same stuff and we cry about the same stuff. Why can’t we emphasize the human stuff rather then emphasize the stuff we don’t have in common or we don’t share. I think the media should try to emphasize on these things. As youth we spent most of the time either on computers or we watch TV or even down to the simple things like a sit-com or we could do movies or whatever and start emphasizing things that we have in common.

Yeah, I’d like to say: Make your own judgements. And don’t believe most of what you see and half of what you hear and always doublesource because nowadays our source is the media and coming from a person that works in the media...I am not saying that we are not reliable, but we always come with an opinion. Everybody comes with an opinion. It can be a little opinion it can be a big opinion but in the end there is an opinion and you should learn to make up your own. And that requires a lot of education. So read a lot about somewhere and read about the people and than keep an open mind. Let’s try to look for common grounds! We have so much more in common than we have differences. So much more and if we emphasize these I think we will be okay. So let’s make that our mission and not the differences and the policies and who killed who and what war is going on and who elected…in the end of the day we are all human beings and we all need to live, and to eat and we all need to sleep and we all need to feel safe. And we all need to be educated and have health care and all of that. It’s a need in every part of the world. So, let’s just try to get along as long as we can.



Mada Suyyagh
* 1979, Jordanian,Reporter for Al Arabija Satellite TV


 

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