Al Arabiya to probe East-West ‘communication gap’ at Dubai forum

The first ‘Al Arabiya News Global Discussion’ marks the relaunch of Al Arabiya News

Ben Flanagan
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Al Arabiya News is set to host a debate on the ‘communication gap’ between the East and West at an event held in Dubai to mark the relaunch of this website.

The first ‘Al Arabiya News Global Discussion’, to be held on Nov. 30, will see a dozen of the world’s sharpest minds debate political lobbying, government communications and media representations and how these issues relate to the Arab World.


The event will also mark the ten-year anniversary of the Al Arabiya News Channel, the leading Arabic-language news station, of which this website is part.

HRH Princess Rym Ali, founder of the Jordan Media Institute in Amman, will speak at the celebration.

A panel of experts will also debate the main theme of the event, ‘Bridging the Communication Gap Between East and West’.

“We aim for this forum to provoke thought and help spread insights, knowledge and contribute towards a better understanding of the world we live in,” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of the English-language Al Arabiya News website.

All debates will be recorded and made available online at

“The theme of ‘bridging the communication gap between East and West’ comes at a time where such an initiative is needed more than ever and we hope that the high caliber of speakers and invited participants, academics, diplomats, business executives and journalists will foster a useful and productive debate,” Abbas added.

The forum, conducted in English, will host an international group of political, cultural and media personalities.

The first panel, moderated by Abbas, will analyze the reasons behind the Arab world’s apparent failure in efficiently lobbying the West, and how Middle Eastern representatives can be more effective in voicing their interests.

Panelists include Dr. Adel al-Toraifi, Editor-in-Chief of the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper; Chris Doyle, the director of The Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu); Adrian Monck, managing director and head of communications and media at the World Economic Forum; and Hisham Melhem, Al Arabiya’s Bureau Chief in Washington, DC.

The second panel is entitled ‘Lost in Translation: Does the West really understand the Middle East?’. Moderated by Al Arabiya News Channel senior anchor Rima Maktabi, this panel will examine the Western media’s coverage and understanding of the Arab world.

Panelists include Professor George Brock, Head of Journalism at City University in London; Khaled al-Maeena, Editor-in-Chief of the Saudi Gazette newspaper; Talal al-Haj, the New York/U.N. Bureau Chief for the Al Arabiya News Channel; and Charles Glass, a broadcaster, journalist and writer with a vast experience reporting on the Middle East.

The forum will also host a special session entitled “What Does it Mean to be a Regional Spokesperson?”, examining the nature of governmental and corporate communications in the Middle East. Joshua Baker, the U.S. Department of State’s regional Arabic-language spokesperson, and Rosemary Davis, regional spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will speak during this session.

Since its launch in 2003, Al Arabiya has continued to expand through its main channel, the sister station Al Hadath, and its diverse electronic platforms such as the official Arabic website ( and multilingual websites in English, Persian and Urdu, in addition to its social media platforms.

The Al Arabiya News Global Discussion marks the recent redesign of and the upcoming launch of a key service of the platform.


The Al Arabiya News Global Discussion will take place in Dubai on Nov. 30, 2013. Follow coverage at and find out more about the event here.

HRH Princess Rym Ali, founder of the Jordan Media Institute

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