London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Al-Arabiya news channel is to launch today, Saturday 30 November, the first News Global Discussion Forum in Dubai. The forum’s main topic of discussion will be “Bridging the communication gap between the East and the West.”
The forum will host several key political, cultural and media figures who are set to take part in a number of discussion panels focusing on Arab media. The first panel is entitled “Political Lobbying: How Arabs can be more effective?” Participants include Asharq Al-Awsat editor-in-chief Dr. Adel Al-Toraifi, Director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding Chris Doyle, Head of Communications at the World Economic Forum Adrian Mock, and Al-Arabiya Washington Bureau Chief Hisham Melhem.
The expert’s discussions seeks to define what it takes to be a regional spokesperson, and will see Joshua Baker, regional spokesperson for the US government, and Rosemary Davis, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson for the Middle East, discuss their work. The two officials are expected to discuss how working as an official spokesperson requires a firm grasp of the Arabic language.
Other notable attendees of the forum include Jordanian Princess Rym Ali, the founder of the Jordan Media Institute (JMI), and Al-Arabiya General Manager Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed.
The forum marks the ten-year anniversary of the Al-Arabiya news channel, as well as the re-launch of the Al-Arabiya news website, enhanced with a new subtitles service that will allow English audiences to follow Arabic content.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Faisal J. Abbas, the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Arabiya News, said that the subtitles service aims to broaden Al-Arabiya’s appeal and attract English audiences to the channel.
“It targets researchers and figures in the political, diplomatic and government milieus who have an interest in Middle Eastern affairs,” said Abbas.
“We are also targeting the growing diaspora, as well as an English-speaking audience,” he added.