In an article Braude wrote for The American Interest in 2014, he explained how China’s Arabic-language television and radio outreach efforts are specifically targeted to niche audiences in Middle Eastern countries that can go on to influence those states’ broader societies to be more pro-Chinese.

Al Arabiya News will today launch a state-of-the-art subtitling service that allows English-speaking audiences to follow Arabic news bulletins and programs broadcast by its parent TV channel. The new service, part of this website’s View More video section, will broadcast regular news bulletins and programs first aired in Arabic by the Al Arabiya News Channel, the region’s leading news station.

Inside the Gaza government press office, a fresh-faced young woman makes her case in fluent English; outside, scowling bearded officials bark orders at masked militants. In the Gaza Strip, the Islamist movement Hamas that runs it shows two faces. Wearing a brightly coloured veil and smiling broadly, 23-year-old Israa al-Mudallal admits with disarming candour that she still has a lot to learn in her role as Hamas's first-ever spokesperson for the foreign press.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar fell out because they supported conflicting interests primarily in Egypt. Elsewhere too - Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Gaza (Hamas). But their coming together in any case was for limited tactical reasons: to stall the Arab Spring. The big asset the Qataris brought to the union, hurriedly put together, was the incomparable credibility of their TV channel, Al Jazeera. Qatar launched Al Jazeera, initially only in Arabic. Later, superior retirees from the BBC like Sir David Frost were enlisted to launch its English service.

BBC World News will launch its international HD channel on Arabsat on August 5. Arabsat will be the BBC’s first distribution partner in the Middle East to offer the news channel in HD. In January, BBC World News’ unveiled its new look, following a re-launch from the heart of the BBC Newsroom at Broadcasting House in central London.

Twitter’s announcement this week that it will create a “report abuse” button will benefit users of the social networking website’s Arabic service, which started last year. In 2012, Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar became the first Saudi females to compete at the Olympic Games. This led to their abuse on Twitter, with one user constructing the hash tag “prostitutes of the Olympics,” and another tweeting: “You [Shaherkani] do not represent the chaste Muslim women.”

In one of her last acts as America's top diplomat, Clinton launched the Open Book Project (OBP), which will make high-quality educational resources freely available online in the Arabic language.

Israel’s Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry has opened a Public Diplomacy Department in Arabic. A statement released by the Ministry states that the department “will be responsible for conducting public diplomacy activities for the media and public opinion on a global level in general and among Arab countries and the Middle East in particular.”