Friday, December 26, 2003

Tonight the daily thuds started a bit earlier. It was around 10 and MBC2 was showing [Sleepless in Seattle], I am a bit embarrassed to say this, but I am a sucker for a Meg Ryan movie. The only problem was the sound of the explosions was a bit too close, it wasn’t just the thud we got used to the last two days but a very deep rumble as well, My mother couldn’t stand it any longer after a while and decided to go hide under her bed pillow instead of exchanging glances after each round of explosions and trying hard to guess where that is. It is the third night now, can anyone please tell me what is going on?

There is a lot that is not being reported and I am not talking about International media, they take what they like and leave. I am talking about the local Iraqia TV, I would have thought that the attacks and explosions are worth a report in the local news, but it seems al Iraqia is just not interested.
The day before yesterday a mine exploded in the Jamia underpass, three Iraqis died and the road was blocked for a number of hours. Does al-Iraqia report? Of course it doesn’t. Today me an my cousins went to get sandwiches from Harthiya street, all the talk in the fast food place was about an explosion just an hour earlier, as we drive away we see a Humvee in the middle of the road, we have to turn back the street is blocked because of the mentioned explosion, The ministry of oil was attacked, SOMO (the sales department in the Ministry of Oil) had a car bomb put in front of it. Does al-Iraqia report? No it doesn’t. The editors there don’t seem to get it, for the foreign media it might be easy to hide part of the picture because their viewers don’t live here. But for Iraqia, turning itself into the good news channel only makes it lose any hope of credibility. Think of it, they don’t have it to lose it.

The other day my uncle, after taking a bottle of nice Lebanese wine I bought for myself, gave me a summary of the policies of various arab media organizations from his point of view.
Want the good news only? Read al-sabah, the lovey-dovey-oh-no-problem-in-this-world paper sponsored by the coalition.
Want the horrible, disturbing version of the news? Read azzaman, news of deaths and assassinations galore.
Want to get your blood pressure up? Watch the arab news networks.
He, and so do we, read all of them. Somewhere in that mess is what is really happening but you need to read the whole lot.

Oh and here is the link to our THIRD film for newsnight.