El-Nawawy, Mohammed 1968-

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el-NAWAWY, Mohammed 1968-


PERSONAL: Born December 25, 1968, in Alexandria, Egypt; son of Ahmed (a personnel manager) and Um Kolthoum (a banker; maiden name, Hussein) el-Nawawy; married Rasha el-Gendi, December, 2000. Education: American University in Cairo, B.A., 1991, M.A., 1996; Southern Illinois University, Ph.D., 1999. Religion: Muslim.




ADDRESSES: Home—635 King Phillip St., Apt. 24, Raynham, MA 02767. Offıce—Stonehill College, 320 Washington St., Easton, MA 02357. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Educator and author. University of West Florida, Pensacola, former assistant professor of journalism; Stonehill College, Easton, MA, professor of journalism, 2002—.


MEMBER: Broadcast Education Association.


WRITINGS:


(With Adel Iskandar) Al-Jazeera: How the Free ArabNews Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East, Westview Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.


The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2002.


SIDELIGHTS: Mohammed el-Nawawy looks at the leading Arab satellite television network in his book Al-Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East, written with Adel Iskandar. Al-Jazeera is the only twenty-four-hour television news network in the Middle East and enjoys an audience of some thirty-five million people. Its favorable coverage of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein has angered those in the West, but Arab viewers tend to see al-Jazeera as refreshingly outspoken compared to the controlled media found in most Arab countries.

Founded in 1996 with a $140 million grant from the emir of Qatar, al-Jazeera was a direct response to the surprising popularity among Arab viewers of the American satellite network CNN during the Gulf War. While taking its cue from some of CNN's programming, including a spin-off of the popular Crossfire series, al-Jazeera has also, el-Nawawy and Iskandar argue, served as a "platform for dissent" in the Middle East, according to a reviewer for the Economist. Such dissent has earned al-Jazeera criticism from some Arab governments. A Publishers Weekly critic noted that "virtually every Arab government, as well as the United States, has at times, expressed displeasure with al-Jazeera, but the station refuses to buckle." El-Nawawy and Iskandar examine the network's continuing impact on Arab society, as well as its growing importance as a world media outlet. Al-Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East is written, Judy Solberg commented in Library Journal, "in an entertaining and accessible journalistic style."


In his book The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists, el-Nawawy examines the techniques used by Western journalists stationed in the Middle East in reporting the ongoing quest for peace in that region. Based on interviews with 168 Western correspondents in Israel and Egypt, the book finds that Western correspondents tend to have an Israeli bias in their reporting. El-Nawawy explains this as a consequence of the Israeli government's sophisticated public-relations machine, which works to earn the U.S. media's favor, as well as of the Egyptian government's natural suspicion of journalists and reluctance to speak with them. Marwan M. Kraidy in the Middle East Journal found el-Nawawy's book to be "noteworthy because comparative media analyses between Arab countries and Israel are virtually nonexistent."


El-Nawawy told CA: "My interest in writing stems from my desire to share my ideas with the readers, especially in the area of media and politics in the Middle East. As someone with expertise in the Arab media, I feel it is my responsibility to familiarize the American readers with the intricacies of the print and broadcast media in the Arab world and to explain to them the Arab world and to explain to them the Arab media scene through Arab eyes. I hope that my writings would contribute to bridging the gap between the United States and the Arab world."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


Economist, September 7, 2002, "Island in the Sun: Arab Media."

Indianapolis Star, October 26, 2002, John F. Fink, "Al-Jazeera TV Deemed 'CNN of the Arab World,'" p. A11.

Library Journal, June 1, 2002, Judy Solberg, review of Al-Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East, p. 166.

Middle East Journal, autumn, 2002, Marwan M. Kraidy, review of The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists, p. 726.

Middle East Policy, spring, 2003, Lawrence Davidson, review of Al-Jazeera, p. 172.

Publishers Weekly, April 29, 2002, review of Al-Jazeera, p. 54.


San Francisco Chronicle, May 19, 2002, Jonathan Curiel, review of Al-Jazeera, p. 1.

Sunday Telegraph (London, England), July 7, 2002, Douglas Davis, review of Al-Jazeera.*