Headlines Of The Arab World

I don’t want to sound like that guy who is so cynical of what he sees as the deterioration of our Arab societies, because that guy always sounds like an uptight ass. I admit I am that guy most of the time and I can’t help it. I know the “counter argument” has been that if you don’t like something then you should just look away; a solution which has served us well mind you. But I’m not going to kiss up to anyone just for the sake of being refered to as “open minded”, as if the opposite of accepting everything and anything unquestionably really did mean being “close minded”. Anyways, back to my point, I really can’t help it, and I’m saying this now because I’m reading the headlines on the AlBawaba website which I think are saying something…I’m just not sure what…

Iraq: No deal on candidates for two key security posts as 16 die in attacks
Palestinian national dialogue delayed
Tensions back to Gaza Strip streets as Hamas force deployed
Lebanon: Israel blamed for the killing of senior Islamic Jihad member

It seems all the headlines that come out of the Middle East are always depressing and sad; always about death. But practically right underneath those very headlines were the following ones:

Lucy denies being jealous of Dina
Soad Husni’s estate warns Muna Zaki
Muna Shalabi launches ruthless campaign against Zeina
Nancy Ajram denies having hot tea thrown at her
Asalah Nasri and Tareq Al Arian kiss intimately live

So I’m conflicted: which headlines were more depressing?

I suppose this is not so much about how those second headlines are such a poor reflection of what we concern ourselves with, but more about the desire to see better headlines that have a brighter reflection. Headlines like “Arab first to discover cure for Cancer” or “First Arab to land on Mars” or “United Arab team wins the World Cup”. Anything for God’s sake is better than what we’re stuck with. Heck I’ll even take “Arab man in a mask and cape runs around city saving lives; pictures of his cool car inside”

Is this just a phase we’re going through? Will our great great great great grandchildren look back upon this time and refer to it as our tabloid years? Perhaps our dark ages?

Early on in Amr Khaled’s series called Life Makers he asked the Arab youth watching, to set their life goals, which is not an easy task. He would then get all these letters from different people. One girl in Saudi Arabia who I believe ranked first in the kingdom upon graduating from university said she was going to be the first to find a cure for cancer. Another guy from Egypt said he was going to write the book that won him the Nobel prize. And a whole bunch of others set outstanding goals. I noticed at the time none of them said they “wanted”, they just said they were “going to”.

I fear that 40 or 50 years from now I’m going to be watching the news and hearing about the number of people that died in Palestine, died in Iraq and maybe Syria (God forbid) and then change the channel to hear about Haifah’s daughter getting into a fight with Alissa’s daughter because they happened to wear the same dress to Hugh Hefner Junior’s Arabian Playboy party.

Then I’ll spend my senior years writing letters to the editors of random newspapers, all of which start with the cliche of all journalism cliches: “I am shocked and appalled! Shocked, I say!”

Yeah, I’m going to be that guy.

(But I’ll be in good company, that’s for sure)


  • well, It depends on what sites you’re going to, what papers you’re reading and what channel you’re watching. Albawaba is different that jordan times, this week in palestine, aljazeera, alrabia, etc. just like mtv news is different than cnn, headlines news, npr, Ny time, chicago tribune…

    It seems all the headlines that come out of the Middle East are always depressing and sad

    check this: http://www.liberationgraphics.com/ppp/News_from_Palestina.html

  • Iman, I’m not picking on one site or one news source…I’m making an obvious generalization as per a larger problem, rather an a specific thing. After all, in this day and age we can customize the Internet to give us only the news we want.

  • lol! the headlines are the usual…sex and violence…why are u confused? in all of history these are what sell everything; newspapers, movies, music, war, our soul and identities, etc…etc…etc…

    another thing, although i realize that ur rants are therapeutic(a little like Dr. Phil on Red Bull) u need to take things in stride or ur going to be a ranting lunatic by the age of 50 and i dont think the parents are making plans for the luni bin and a retirement spent in wiping drool from your face as you shake your fist and scream deafeningly at the sky.

  • Arab societies have sunk into depths of darkness from which they might never recover. Keep criticizing, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a mindless drone.

    I have spoken 😉

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