JEDDAH: A high-profile media forum, beginning in Dubai tomorrow, will feature an Arab News panel discussion examining the region’s image abroad.
The Arab Media Forum (AMF), to be held at the Madinat Jumeirah, is expected to attract prominent international media figures from the Middle East and beyond.
A report titled “The Arab Image in the US” will be unveiled at the event. It is based on an exclusive survey of how the American public views the Arab world, conducted in partnership between Arab News, the Dubai Press Club (DPC) and research and polling specialist YouGov.
The topic will be discussed during an Arab News panel session featuring Nathan Tek, US State Department spokesman in the Middle East; Mark Donfried, director of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin; and Hadley Gamble, a reporter and anchor for CNBC covering the Middle East, Africa and US politics.
Faisal Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, will moderate the session.
Promoting civil dialogue
Scholars, writers and media experts are set to discuss the importance of dialogue in highlighting peaceful coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect — as well as in condemning racism, hatred and prejudice.
Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, president of DPC and chair of the AMF Organizing Committee, said that the AMF since its inception has had a focus on promoting constructive dialogue.
She noted that this becomes more important given regional complexities, for which some people blame the media.
The forum attempts to correct misconceptions about the media and explore ways in which the industry can effectively face the growing challenges in the Arab world and promote a civil dialogue based on respecting pluralism and different ideologies.
This year’s AMF is expected to attract over 3,000 participants and experts in the media industry. The UAE’s Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al-Qasimi will give the keynote address at the opening plenary session on the second day.
Noura Al-Kaabi, minister of state for Federal National Council affairs and chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority, will present a panel session on “Constructive Dialogue,” while Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma Al-Mazrui will launch a media initiative for Arab youth.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, will speak at a panel discussion titled “The Silk Road.” The session — moderated by Nadine Hani, business news presenter at Al Arabiya News Channel — will address the role of business in enriching civil dialogue between nations.
International media figures will also be partaking at the annual event, including Richard Buangan, managing director for international media at the US State Department, who will be talking during a session titled “Successful Political Dialogue.”
Alex Aiken, the UK executive director of government communications, will speak at the AMF about the “Dialogue of Tolerance.”