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Opinion: A Spectrum of Colours - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ten years ago, Al-Arabiya began to broadcast a morning programme, and with time a number of news television channels adopted the idea behind “Sabah Al-Arabiya” or the Arabic language morning programme. It provides a contrast to the evenings and days of Arabs, and begins the day with joyous news instead of news of explosives; news of achievements rather than rubble; the latest songs instead of elegies and it gives tips on health and well being instead of informing about murder and death.

The morning programmes are not free from a summary of dark news, however, the general framework is a spectrum of colours, free from the colours of dust and death.

The morning programmes are a temporary excuse for Arabs not to follow news of the daily calamities that affect the Arab nation. Some channels place a scene of greenery and flowers behind the presenters of their morning programmes, and dark news and raised voices do not make an appearance. There is no quarrelling on air, but rather there is an atmosphere of beautiful calm and good news.

During the radio era, each broadcast began with the following sentence “Ladies and gentlemen, may your time be spent pleasantly”. Nowadays, presenters refrain from mentioning pleasant times or hoping for them. They fear that those who are victims, injured, displaced and people attending funerals under bombardment will consider this as ridicule and contempt for the rivers of grief.

However, Arab morning programmes push the floods of darkness and the ashes of volcanoes and barrels away. They remind the world that is looking at us through screens that we also love life and deserve it. They also remind it that our children yearn for normal lives like other human beings

During the days of Saddam Hussein, harsh decrees were issued by him and no one could discuss this. Now, illegal decisions are being enacted in the Iraqi parliament and there is a subtle difference that needs to be glossed over because the prestige of the current president is not untouchable.

May your times be pleasant, in any case. We don’t have horses or money, but at least we can wish. God bless your morning.

Samir Atallah

Samir Atallah

Samir Atallah is a prominent Lebanese journalist, author and political analyst.

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