The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A former western ambassador to the UAE, now retired and working here as a private citizen, told me a revealing story over lunch this week. A friend of his was coming through customs at Dubai and had purchased two bottles of wine in the arrivals duty free shop. As he approached customs a policeman stopped him.

"You have two bottles of wine?" the policeman asked. The traveler admitted he did, silently cursing himself for having picked up a second bottle with a policeman standing right in front of him.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

October 4, 2004

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Doha, Qatar

Coming through customs at Doha International Airport you pass a billboard for this micro-state's most famous export: the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel. Its headline:

.view of point different A

Amman, Jordan

Ra'ed Qaqish is the sort of person the United States is supposed to be reaching out to. He wants to be friends with the United States, but just now he is feeling slighted.
Qaqish is a freshman member of Jordan's parliament. A Christian in his early 40s who represents the town of Salt, about 20 miles west of Amman. He arrived late for our lunch explaining by way of apology that he had been with the mayor of Salt discussing his idea to establish a sister city agreement with Burlington, Vermont, which he visited last year.

Amman, Jordan

Perhaps, just perhaps, Colin Powell's round of the Sunday talk shows marks the beginning of a new Bush administration approach to public diplomacy. In discussing Iraq Powell used a disarmingly simple public diplomacy tactic: he acknowledged reality.

Asked on ABC’s "This Week" about the security situation in Iraq Powell replied "it’s getting worse, and the reason it’s getting worse is that they are determined to disrupt the elections."

Amman, Jordan

It was one of those scenes you ought to be able to see in Baghdad, but probably will not for quite some time. The post-reception party for a high society wedding had taken over Amman's trendiest restaurant. There was an open bar, pounding music in the cool night air, and Saudis and Americans alike could be found dancing on the tables.

September 22, 2004

Amman, Jordan

Now this is something you don’t see every day.

Al-Ittihad, an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper that is the semi-official mouthpiece of the United Arab Emirates, took on a series of taboo subjects with a single editorial Wednesday.

Calling the beheading of two American hostages in Iraq "repulsive" the paper criticized the targeting of “innocent people whose only fault was going to Iraq to help its people and stand by it in its calamity.”

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