Confidential cables by American diplomats in the region, revealed by WikiLeaks, expose weak and fearful Arab leaders who are dependent on US protection against real and imagined fears over Iran's potential possession of nuclear arms and its influence in the Arab world.

“Abu Dhabi Art is part of a greater vision to build transnational cultural institutions to ensure that the Arab world is not isolated,” said Rita Aoun Abdo, director of the cultural department of Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Co., or T.D.I.C., which co-organized the fair and is the agency behind the development of Saadiyat Island.

This week, member states of the United Nations will vote on what has become an annual resolution, “On Combating Defamation of Religions,” put forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group of 57 states with large Islamic populations.

"I really like it, and I take it very seriously," [Salma Hayek] tells reporters straining over the barrier for a comment about her role as a judge at this film festival. "It looks like they have built a great home for arts, culture and film." Who would believe she was talking about Qatar, a desert country of 1.7 million people...

Move over Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. Lay witness to yet another Arabic 24/7 television news channel to enter the high-stakes game of international broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).

Most Arab columnists agree with the argument that the anti-mosque movement will badly harm Arab and Muslim views of the United States, contra Rashed, but there isn't as much active discussion of it in the forums as you'd expect. That isn't a reason to relax, though.

July 21, 2010

The introduction of television was a defining moment in Egypt and the Arab world. "We launched television in Libya, in Kuwait, in Aleppo and in Syria. We emerged as the cultural beacon of the Arab world," Abdel-Qader Hatem, Egypt's and the Arab world's first minister of information told Al-Ahram Weekly.

June 22, 2010

[But] Turkish television has given the soap a fresh twist by making the connivers, kidnappers and canoodlers Muslims. And it is Arab audiences, even more than Turks, who have been swept off their feet...Through the small screen, Turkey has begun to exercise a big influence at Arab dinner tables, in boardrooms and bedrooms from Morocco to Iraq. Politics and culture go hand in hand, here as elsewhere.