Ribbity Blog

baqqa mqarqra
A Frog's-eye view

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Call me frog-brained, but I've only just realised the logic behind Al-Jazeera's organisation of its news items. Below the main headlines, there is a series of shorter headlines divided by region, in this order: The Arab Homeland, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, the Two Americas [I assume northern and southern continents], Europe and Israel; then come articles by subject: economics and labour, science and technology, medicine and health, culture and art, sport, and finally (!) books.

The list is interesting, because both its order and division indicates to us something about how the world looks from the Gulf States. Top of the list of regions is the Arab Homeland, and then we head east. Israel (at least mentioned these days by name, not by epithet) is not a part of the Arabic homeland, nor of Asia, but belongs to Europe, in keeping with the ideas prevelant in the Arabic world about Israel's colonial status [see e.g. here, espec. para. 23].

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