Browsing 'arab world' News

I confirm Al Jazeera is not with any party and not reaching (for) power – we are only here to tell the story.

Mustafa Soug, Managing Editor of Al Jazeera Arabic, in remarks made during the 7th Al Jazeera Forum, which runs through tomorrow at the Doha Sheraton.

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The future of Arab media and it role in the revolutions of the past few years have featured prominently in this year’s program. Just this afternoon, Guardian foreign editor David Hearst accused some journalists in the Middle East of intentionally glossing over key stories. 

A debate over the necessity of state information offices also took place; Egypt’s information minister expressed support for them, while Tunisia and Moroccan officials agreed they should be phased out.

Check out the full program here and follow a live stream of “Arab World in Transition: Opportunities and Challenges” in English and Arabic here.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera Forum on Facebook

The Institute for Economics and Peace unveiled its annual Global Peace Index at a ceremony in London yesterday, indicating that the world had becomes “slightly more peaceful” in the last year. 

Despite this, the Middle East and North Africa region saw an overall decline in peace during the unrest of the Arab Spring over the last year, making it the least peaceful region globally.

Qatar, however, saw no change in its ranking as 12th most peaceful country in the world, leading the Arab World for the fourth year in a row. Qatar also came out ahead of a number of Western democratic countries, including  Sweden (14), Germany (15), Britain (29), and the United States (88). 

Once-ally Syria saw the biggest drop in peace, according to the report, plummeting 30 places to 147th of 158 countries. Somalia rounded out the bottom, while Iceland took the top spot.

Among the criteria judged are the perceived criminality in society, homicide rates, jailed populations, access to weapons, violent demonstrations, and political instability.

GPI has an interactive map to click through for much more detail, and the Guardian has a full, sortable list of the countries.

Here’s the MOI’s press release:

Qatar has the third-highest Twitter penetration rate in the Arab World after Kuwait and Bahrain, according to a new infographic recently published by social media strategist Khaled ElAhmad (@shusmo).

The data visualization makes use of research from the Dubai School of Government’s forthcoming Arab Social Media Report, which finds that some 43,000 people actively use Twitter in Qatar. That’s roughly 2.22 percent of the population, barely edging out the UAE’s 2.16 percent adoption rate.

Kuwait is the clear winner here, with more than 8 percent of the population on Twitter, and also producing the highest volume of tweets, despite trailing internet penetration rates compared to the rest of the Gulf.

Interestingly, the most used hashtags in the region in the months of February and March is #Bahrain.

ElAhmad produced a similar visualization last month for Facebook usage in the Arab World, putting active Facebook users at 43 million, as compared to a paltry 1.3 million Twitter users in the region.

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What do you think? Do these figures make sense to you?

(Hat tip to Tfour.me for sharing this graphic with us)