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The Media and Political Change in the Arab World 28-30 Sept. 2004 Moller Centre, Churchill College, University of Cambridge Whether Arab satellite broadcasting has lost its initial aura or is still as attractive to audiences as ever, its role and presence in the political and societal landscape of the Arab world is very central. For many observers, satellite broadcasting has created a 'public sphere' that has empowered non-state actors, individuals, groups and organisations to challenge the status quo by furnishing them with relative immunity. The free 'cyber' platform that this media is providing for a wide-ranging diversity of political and ideological views is non-existent in reality. Telling untold stories, challenging the official version of events, presenting opposing views and engaging in debates on the - followed by millions of viewers - is by any measure a positive dynamism. However, many see this very 'cyber' activism as a mechanism that vents anger and trades off actual change for loud verbalism that only exacerbates the immobilisation of Arab societies. Arab governments, well aware of this dual nature of transterritorial broadcasting for venting anger and thus preserving immobilisation, have shown unusual tolerance towards TV broadcasting that is bashing many of them with unprecedented vociferousness. It is, in fact, an involuntary tolerance built on stalemate - the result of both the ineffectiveness of these governments to curb this transterritorial broadcasting coupled with the desirability of making some show of gradual openness. More importantly, the continuous rifts that persist between Arab states leave satellite broadcasters with a great deal of stretch and manoeuvrability. The Media and Political Change in the Arab World Programme Tuesday, 28 September 2004 19:00 Registration 20:00 - 21:30 Opening Dinner & Welcome by CMEIS Director: Dr Amira Bennison The annual lecture: Dr Shebly Telhami, Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, University of Maryland (TBC) Wednesday, 29 September 2004 9:00 - 9:40 The role of media in political change: a theoretical appraisal Speaker: Dr John Street (University of East Anglia) (TBC) Discussant: Dr Tareq Sabri (University of Westminster) 9:40 - 10:10 Discussion 10:10 - 10:50 Reform initiatives and Arab Satellite Broadcasting (ASB): reception and reflection Speaker: Dr Sa'ed Eddin Ibrahim (Ibn Kholdoun Centre, Cairo) Speaker: Mr Jihad Al-Khazen (Al-Hayat, London) (TBC) 10:50 - 11:20 Discussion 11:20 - 11:50 Coffee break 11:50 - 12:30 ASB: an alternative to political parties? Speaker: Dr Kai Hafez (University of Erfurt, Germany) Speaker: Ms Lamis Andoni (Berkley University) 12:30 - 13:00 Discussion 13:00 - 15:00 Lunch 15:00 - 15:40 Religious reform or religious rigidity on ASB? Speaker: Dr Hussein Amin (AUC, Cairo) Discussant: Mr Jamal Khashogji (Al-Watan Newspaper, KSA- London) 15:40 - 16:10 Discussion 16:10 - 16:50 ASB and the state, who curbs whom, why and how? Speaker: Dr Naomi Sakr (University of Westminster) Discussant: Mr Marc Saighe (Courrier International, Paris) 16:50 - 17:20 Discussion 17:20 - 17:40 Coffee break 17:40 - 18:20 ASB: democratising or radicalising, liberal or patriarchal? Speaker: Prof. Muhammad Ayish, University of Sharjah, UAE Speaker: Mr Jasem Al-Azzawi (Abu Dhabi TV - UAE) 18:20 - 19:00 Discussion 19:00 Dinner Thursday, 30 September 2004 9:00 - 9:40 ASB and the Palestine question: role and implications Speaker: Mr Waleed Al-Omari (Al-Jazeera, Palestine) Speaker: Mr Ehab Bsaissou (University of Cardiff) ASB and the Iraq question: role and implications Speaker: Ms Iqbal Qazwini (Germany) TBC 9:40 - 10:10 Discussion 10:10 - 10:50 Official Western views on ASB Speaker: Ambassador Mark Hambley (Media Outreach Centre, London) Discussant: Mr Joel Campangna (Committee to Protect Journalists, NY) 10:50 - 11:10 Coffee break 11:10 - 11:50 Occidentalism: the West on ASB Speaker: Dr Jon Alterman (Center for Strategic & Inter.Studies, Washington) Discussant: Dr Abdul Wahhab Al-Afandi (University of Westminster) 11:50 - 12:20 Discussion 12:20 - 13:00 Arab (media) intellectuals: challengers or accommodators? Speaker: Mr Khaled Hroub (CAMP, Cambridge) Speaker: Dr Noureddine Miladi (University of Westminster) 13:00 - 13:30 Discussion 13:30 - 16:00 Lunch and punting in Cam River 16:00 - 16:40 ASB: Furthering pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism or nationalism? Speaker : Dr Faisal Al-Kasim (Al-Jazeera, Doha) Discussant: Ms Sundos Al-Qaisi (University of Edinburgh) 16:40 - 17:10 Discussion 17:10 - 17:30 Coffee break 17:30 - 18:10 Arab women and the new media: empowerment or disempowerment? Speaker: Dr Shereen Abou El-Naga (AUC, Cairo) Discussant: Miss Dana Suyyagh (Al-Arabyya, Dubai) 18:10 - 18:40 Discussion 18:40 - 19:10 Concluding remarks 19:30 Dinner More info: http://www.cambridge-conference.com/index.html