Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rima Maktabi on Syria

Diana sent me this:
"Dear Prof. As'ad,

In this debate of bad taste organized by Al Arabiah at the World Economic Forum, everything was permitted: from stating unquestioned claims, mutual taps on the back by Turkish and Jordanian representatives on how well their countries are treating Syrian refugees, to continuous nonsensical interjections by Rima Maktabi:

Here are a few moments I picked up:
- Rima Maktabi is the moderator of a 6 member panel on Syria with only one Syrian present. Others panelists include Saudi, Turkish, Jordanian, Lebanese, but no Iraqi no Iranian representatives
- Rima Maktabi introduces the subject by admonishing Iranian and Hisbollah imbrication in the Syrian conflict and leaving out involvement of other countries
- First question by the Secretary General of Amnesty International attempts to raise the double standard in handling the Syrian and Bahraini cases, only to be dismissed very impolitely by none other Rima Maktabi (around 17:40)
- Saudi rep. (Turki Al Faisal Al Saoud) actually refers to Amnesty International as "nasty international" (I hope I heard wrong, min 25;00)
- Throughout this intriguing panel, Rima Maktabi eagerly wants to promote her work as a journalist by repeating how she was inside Syria and how she has first hand knowledge of what's going on. We are finally treated to her report (pls watch it at min 24:30). What is the journalistic value of showing a woman weep and grabbing for a bottle of water?
- Rima Maktabi interrupts Ayman Asfari as he is speaking of the historical coexistence of Syrians to tell him that when in Syria, she and the rebels "were freaking out" when they got to Shi'a villages, and that she had to veil (30:00)
- The only comment that in my sense spoke in defense of Syrians, was that by Ayman Asfari who pointed to the unacceptable conditions in Al Zaatari camp, reminding all how Syrians welcomed neighboring refugees in their homes throughout the years (51:00)
- Davutoglu: he trusts Syrians because they are "urban" (58:20)

Why do these people get so much tv and air time? Why??
It all really looked like a bad farce.

And while watching this, there was this promo on Al Arabiya website - the latest deck of cards (this might not be new):

Feel free to post."