Faiza al-Arji, co-author of Iraqi blog A Family in Baghdad, reflects on a recent trip to America:
I started asking people in my interviews: In the past three years, do you remember seeing one Iraqi opposing the war in the mainstream media? They shook their heads and say no. I would then tell them that the US media is in partnership with the government in this war. You Americans don’t know anything about Iraq, about Islam, about our culture, our civilization, our religion, I said. All that reaches you is through the lens of a distorted, biased and deceitful media that sows disdain and discrimination and justifies wars and hatred between us.
Let us take a small example of a report broadcast by Fox News about the women of the Middle East. They showed a picture of a woman completely veiled, with only her eyes showing. The commentator said, this is the image of the traditional woman in the Middle East, but we are interviewing extraordinary women today. An interview with two Egyptian women working as jewellery designers then followed. I laughed and was shocked. Women in the Middle East are for the most part educated and cultured.…
The Australian media is no better. Iraqi voices and bloggers are rarely heard. But then, embedded, Western journalists surely know far more about Iraq than the citizens of the country.