Local News

Arab Journalists Come To Triangle To Learn About Politics, Way Of Life

Posted October 1, 2004

— Names like Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya did not mean much to most Americans before the war. Today, they are almost household names. Now, more than a dozen Arab journalists are getting to know names in the Triangle.

The journalists came to the Triangle region to get out of the vacuum of Washington, D.C. and New York to see how things are done on a local level.

"You've got really good university, really informed public and also a state that is politically very interesting, home of the VP candidate," coordinator Jerome Aumente said.

The journalists planned to watch the presidential debate in Raleigh and talk about it with Triangle business people.

"It's important to see how the American people are reacting to the election, especially with the first debate, which [was] about foreign policy," said Soha Zineddine, of the newspaper Al-Hiyat.

On Thursday, they toured the

News & Observer

, discussing how the newspaper is covering the election and what it means to have a free press.

"People in the Mideast, we are seeking more freedom, but still we are trying to have balance," said Houda Benothman, of Tunisian TV.

Mahmoud Aljazarim of Al-Jazeera hopes his visit dispels what he calls misconceptions about his network.

"It is doing its utmost to give the truth for the public, especially in the Arab world," he said.

The Arab journalists are being hosted in the Triangle by the International Visitor's Council.

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