Al Arabiya anchors ready for special coverage on US elections

Leila Alwan
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Arabs would do well to follow the upcoming US presidential election closely, says Al Arabiya's Washington bureau chief.

Nadia Bilbassy, who is also a co-anchor of a new program on the US elections which will air on the Arabic-language Al Arabiya News Channel, claims that Arab audiences should understand how a superpower elects its president, how vast amounts of money is spent, and the concept of political campaigns there.

“It’s exciting to know the good, the bad, the ugly and the scandalous of the US election,” said Bilbassy, who interviewed current US President Barack Obama in May last year.

“The US president and his or her foreign policy will have a massive effect on the Arab region.”

This pre-election season, which will likely see property tycoon and reality TV host Donald Trump up against former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, is both “educating” and “entertaining” to follow and understand, she said.

Bilbassy and co-anchor Sohaib Cherair have a show that airs every Saturday on Al Arabiya where they provide updates, analysis, and outcomes of the 2016 US elections starting from now till November, when voting takes place.

Cherair said that the US elections can be “complicated” and that their role as Arab media is to simplify complex American political concepts for unfamiliar regional audiences.

According to both anchors, the program is neutral and objective, although Cherair said that Trump’s controversial statements have sometimes made detached reporting difficult.

Bilbassy reports from Al Arabiya’s office in Washington, while Cherair reports from Al Arabiya’s headquarters in Dubai.

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