The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Online Arab documentaries and films now available

Arab American TV Online launches web access to documentaries and films

Arab American culture is the focus

Chicago -- Documentaries and films on Arab American and Arab World culture are now available on-demand on the Internet through a new web page called Arab American TV Online.

The web page is:

The first films to be posted are interviews hosted by award winning Arab American journalist Ray Hanania on his monthly Comcast Cable TV program "30 Minutes."

Now playing is a 30 minute interview with former Jordanian legislator and Civil Rights activist Ms. Toujan Faisal.Also posted are 30 minute documentaries on A Walk Through Arab East Jerusalem, a tour of war-ravaged Jenin in the occupied West Bank, and a walk through an Israeli military checkpoint/examination of the apartheid Wall erected by Israel as a means of confiscating Palestinian-owned land as a part of Israel's illegal land and settlement expansion.

"The American media is driven by an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias. Most American can't even tell the difference between Palestinians and Pakistanis, a racism that drives this bias that is also reflected in the mainstream news media. The ignorance of most Americans is tragic and a reflection of their lack of education about Middle East issues and the Arab American community," says Hanania, a 30-year veteran of American journalism and twice winner of the Soictey of Professional Journalists/Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Column Writing Awards.

"The Internet gives Arab Americans the opportunity to confront this media bias and help educate Americans about the truth of the Middle East conflict, Arab culture and the Muslim religion. The fact is that most Americans don't even know that the majority of Arabs in America are in fact Christians, and that the Christian population in Palestine is suffering along with Muslims as a result of Israeli oppression and the military occupation."

Hanania says that the web portal Arab American TV Online will present films and documentaries that challenge the biases in the American media and in the greater media of Hollywood films, television and broadcast cable TV.

"Arab Americans only have a limited presence in the media, mainly because of bias that prohibits them from participating fully. They are intentionally excluded by bigots and racists and by unprofessional journalism that pervades the mainstream American media system," Hanania says.

"My objective is to change this and help make journalism the profession of fairness and objectivity that it should be and is not in this country."


Panel challenges Arab stereotypes


Arab Bashing in America: Fact or FictionPress Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT:Warren David313-999-6000Siham Awada Jaafar313-910-1955

DEARBORN, MI, April 28, 2006 –Arab Detroit will host aneducational workshop, "Images and Perceptions of Arab Americans" on Wednesday May 31, 2006 from 8:30am to 2:00pm at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Fairlane Center, 1900 Hubbard Drive, Dearborn, Michigan.

Recent events such as the Danish cartoon and Dubai Ports controversies have made Arab bashing fashionable in America. This workshop will examine the culture and diversity of Detroit’s Arab American community and explore the image of the Arab American in the media and the effects of prejudice and discrimination. Finally this workshop will address vital issues affecting Arab Americans, utilizing humor as a vehicle for confronting stereotypes.

"This workshop goes beyond the everyday headlines and looks at some of the vital and pertinent issues affecting Arab Americans in southeastern Michigan," says Siham Awada Jaafar, Vice President of David Communications and one of the principal organizers of the event. She went on to say, "We are hopeful that participants will have a more accurate understanding of Arab Americans as a result of this informative event."

The workshop presenters include:Hon. Mary Rose Oakar, former Congresswoman and national President of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Washington, D.C.

Ray Hanania, award-winning writer, author and comedian from Chicago.

Dr. Nadine Naber, Assistant Professor of the Program on American Culture and Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Evelyn Alsultany, Research Investigator on Arab racism for the Program on American Culture at the University of Michigan.

Warren David, President and CEO of David Communications, a multi-cultural public relations and marketing firm with specialization in the Arab American market.

The workshop is expected to attract members of the print and broadcast media, business leaders, human resource directors, diversity program managers, advertising, marketing and communications professionals, educators, municipal and government employees, law enforcement personnel, community leaders and those interested in learning more about Arab Americans.

The registration enrollment fee is $95 per person and includes the workshop, continental breakfast, luncheon and workshop materials.An optional bonus session will be offered from 2:15 pm to 3:30pm and will focus on some of the most commonly used Arabic language phrases.

Arab Detroit is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of accurate information about Arab Americans through the develop-ment of informative print materials, educational and cultural events and multi-media programming.

For more information contact Arab Detroit at 1-877-ARAB-944 (1-877-272-2944), via email, or on the world- wide web at,

Sponsored by:ArabDetroitIn partnership with:Center for Arab American Studies--University of Michigan-DearbornDetroit EdisonSprint-Nextel
Davenport UniversityComerica BankFairlane Club

With support from: ADC, The Democratic Party, ACCESS, American Arab Chamber of CommerceAWARESmooth Jazz-98.7FM

Harassment of journalists continues in Yemen

Harassment, attacks continue in Yemen

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

New York, April 28, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Yemeni journalists continue to be assaulted and harassed, while authorities have shown no sign that they are bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Jamal Amer, editor of the weekly newspaper Al-Wasat, has been subjected to ongoing intimidation and harassment. On April 10, a known political security officer and four other men asked Amer’s neighbors to identify the editor’s apartment, provide the phone numbers of his children, name the schools his children attended, and provide the license plate of his car, Amer told CPJ. The visit came while Amer was traveling in the United States. Amer’s U.S. trip prompted the state-controlled newspaper Al-Mithaq to accuse him of being an agent of the West.
In August 2005, Amer was abducted for several hours by suspected security agents, who warned him against criticizing high-level government officials. Since then, Amer said, he has seen vehicles conducting surveillance.

CPJ is investigating other recent cases as well:

Ø Abed al-Mahthari, editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Al-Deyar, said he was targeted this month by suspected weapons traffickers in al-Sa’ada, in northern Yemen near the Saudi border. Al-Mahthari has investigated weapons trafficking and received several death threats as a result. Al-Mahthari said his car was being driven by a friend on April 19 when several gunmen took up pursuit. The assailants, apparently believing they had followed the editor, forced their way into the friend’s house, threatened the friend’s family at gunpoint, and stole the car, al-Mahthari said. The friend obtained the license plate of the perpetrators’ car, and al-Mahthari reported it to the police. Al-Mahthari said he has gone into hiding.

Ø Journalist Abdulfatah al-Hakimi suffered respiratory problems after an early-April attack in which two unidentified men sprayed a gas through his car window. He was taken to a hospital in Aden, where he remained for more than a week. Al-Hakimi, who was a deputy editor of the state-controlled daily 14 October, was fired last year after his writings became more critical of Yemeni authorities. In articles in the newspaper Al-Wasat and the Web site Shoura this year, he criticized changes in the appointment of government ministers. Al-Hakimi has also been highly critical of the government’s conduct in the Saada conflict.

Over the last two years, at least two dozen outspoken Yemeni journalists have been victims of assault, imprisonment, or spurious criminal lawsuits, while others have faced intimidation by security agents and smears in the state-controlled press, a CPJ investigation found. In January, Prime Minister Abdelqader Bajamma met with a CPJ delegation and promised his government would thoroughly investigate attacks against journalists.

“It’s more urgent than ever that the government make good on the prime minister’s promise,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. “Yemeni journalists continue to be targeted with threats and assaults, and Yemen’s international standing continues to erode as a result.”

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

AAJA on need for Diversity in news rooms

AAJA Challenges Newspaper Editors To Set Personal Goals for Newsroom Diversity


Media Contact:Rene AstudilloAAJA Executive 346-2051 x106

SAN FRANCISCO (April 25, 2006) – The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) today challenged all of the nation’s newspaper editors to set a personal goal of increasing the number of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists in their respective newsrooms, and to place more AAPI journalists in supervisory and management positions.

The call came in response to The American Society of Newspaper Editors' (ASNE) release of its annual newsroom census today, showing a slight increase in the number of Asian Americans – from 1,664 in 2005 to 1,768 in 2006. Asian Americans now comprise 3.22 %of the total newsroom workforce in the U.S. The number of Asian American newsroom supervisors also increased slightly from 271 in 2005 to 318 this year.

The survey is used as a benchmark for the industry in assessing the aggregate number of journalists of color working for papers. ASNE's diversity mission is for its member newsrooms to mirror the population and has set the goal of achieving parity with the general population by the year 2025 or earlier. While the overall minority employment numbers grew slightly, ASNE said that the “industry is falling further behind benchmark targets set six years ago. This year’s report card shows failure in all five benchmarks set by ASNE, namely: the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms, number of minority interns, number of minority supervisors, number of newspapers with no minority staffers and number of newspapers that have reached parity with their community. For detailed survey results, go to

“While we are happy about the slight increase in our numbers, we still have a long way to go to achieve parity,” said AAJA National President Esther Wu. “The situation becomes volatile with recent consolidations and sale of major newspapers. Opportunities for newsroom employment are shrinking and this could have a devastating impact on diversity hiring and reverse what very little progress we’ve made so far,” she added.

“The U.S. census indicates that the Asian Americans are the fastest growing race in the United States, and that by the year 2025, it is estimated that the majority population in at least four states will be made up of people of color. Now more than ever, it is important for us to look at the number of AAPIs and other journalists of color in the newsroom if we are to reflect the communities we serve,” Wu said.

For the first time since ASNE started conducting the annual census, the specific minority employment percentages at each newspaper participating in the survey, have also been released. “This is something that we have asked for several years ago and we commend ASNE for doing it this year, “said Rene Astudillo, AAJA executive director. “Now, we know exactly which newspapers need to increase their hiring of Asian Americans, or better still, which ones don’t employ a single Asian American in their newsrooms. Hopefully, with this information, AAJA can work closely and directly with newspaper editors to improve their hiring records. It is time that all newspaper editors make it their personal goal to hire more Asian Americans for their own newsrooms, while ensuring retention of their current Asian American staff,” he added.
AAJA, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has embarked on national programs designed to feed the newsroom pipeline with AAPIs and to develop the management skills of mid-career journalists.

J Camp, its annual multicultural journalism training for high school students has encouraged participants to consider a career in journalism. AAJA has also graduated more than 300 Asian Americans from its Executive Leadership Program, a unique and intensive training to develop the management skills of mid-career journalists. Many other AAJA programs help its members find professional opportunities in both newsroom training and employment.

About AAJA

The Asian American Journalists Association is a non-profit professional and educational organization with more than 2,000 members today. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA's mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color, along with the Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists.

For more information, visit

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dubai Press Club presents Journalism Awards

DUBAI, 28 April 2006 — Distinguished journalists from the Arab media were honored at the Arab Journalism Awards ceremony here on Wednesday night in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai (MORE)§ion=0&article=81360&d=28&m=4&y=2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nieman Fellows Honor Slain Iraqi Reporter

Nieman Fellows Honor Slain Iraqi Reporter With 2006 Louis Lyons Award


April 25, 2006, CONTACT: Bob Giles, Curator, 617-496-5827

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The 2006 Class of Nieman Fellows has chosen Atwar Bahjat to receive this year's Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.

Bahjat was kidnapped and killed earlier this year while covering the Feb. 22 bombing of the Shiite mosque Al Askari in her hometown of Samarra. The Iraqi television journalist's cameraman and engineer were also killed. Bahjat was 30 years old and a correspondent for Al Arabiya, the 24-hour Dubai-based Arabic-language news channel.The daughter of a Shiite mother, who survives her, and a Sunni father, Bahjat's dedication to impartial reporting bridged both sides of Iraq's sectarian divide. As a symbol of her support for a united country, she wore a necklace with a golden pendant in the shape of Iraq.

"Whether you are Sunni or Shia, Arab or Kurd," she said in her last report, "there is no difference between Iraqis, united in fear for this nation."

The Lyons Award is named in honor of Louis M. Lyons, a journalist known for his integrity. Lyons was a member of the first Nieman class in 1939 and served as curator of the Nieman Foundation for 25 years. The award carries a $1,000 honorarium. Twenty-five individuals, groups and organizations have received the Lyons Award since it was established by the 1964 Class of Nieman Fellows.

The 2006 Nieman Class said they gave the award to Bahjat posthumously because of the "impressive bravery" she demonstrated as she traveled to hospitals, scenes of explosions and family homes of the deceased, describing life as her country faced division and chaos.

"Despite death threats," the class said, "she used her pulpit to give a balanced picture of the fighting in Iraq and to emphasize the human losses. She represents the many Iraqi journalists who have given their lives since the conflict began in March 2003 and those who continue to face grave danger as they report the news in Iraq."

"What motivated her was a sense of decency, not politics," said Al Arabiya Washington Bureau Chief S. Abdallah Schleifer, who accepted the award for Bahjat at a recent Nieman Foundation dinner. "I'm also accepting this award for the 11 staff members of Al-Arabiya who have been killed in the war, and I accept it in the name of all the other Iraqi journalists who have been risking their lives, and I accept it for journalists everywhere in a world that seems more brutalized than ever."

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard administers the nation's oldest midcareer fellowship program for journalists. Since 1938, more than 1,100 men and women from the United States and 77 other nations have come to Harvard as part of the fellowship program.

The Nieman Foundation also publishes Nieman Reports, the nation's oldest magazine devoted to a critical examination of the practice of journalism, and is the home of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Project, which encourages reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.

# # #

Hanania cable TV show now broadcast on Internet

Columnist's TV Show Being Broadcast Online
By E&P Staff Published: April 26, 2006 3:15 PM ET

NEW YORK Self-syndicated columnist Ray Hanania's local cable TV show on Arab-American issues is now available online.

The 30 Minutes program, which originates from suburban Chicago, airs monthly on Friday nights at 8:30. Hanania told E&P he'll now also do additional "shorter" interviews with Arab-American community leaders, activists, and writers for online broadcast."Google is going to change the way journalists like me reach audiences," said Hanania, whose column was formerly distributed by Creators Syndicate.

"I was locked into a small audience on cable but now the quality is great and anyone with DSL/Broadband can view the full 30-minute show."

E&P Staff (

Get info at


Journalists attacked in Nablus by Israeli occupation soldiers

West Bank: Journalists attacked in Nablus by Israeli soldiers

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

New York, April 26, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Israeli soldiers have attacked Palestinian journalists covering unrest in the West Bank city of Nablus on at least two occasions this month.

On April 17, soldiers fired at a group of cameramen and photographers covering an Israeli army raid on a house in the Old City of Nablus. Nasser Ishtayeh and Abdal Ruhman Khabeisa of The Associated Press, Jaffar Ishtayeh of Agence France-Presse, and Abdel Rahim Qusini and Hassan Titi of Reuters said they were filming the raid, and clashes between soldiers and stone-throwing youths, from a distance of about 500 yards (meters), beside an AP vehicle that was clearly marked “Press.” They were wearing phosphorus green vests labeled “Press.”

Titi placed a video camera on a stand three feet (1 meter) from the car. Israeli soldiers fired at the camera forcing the journalists back into the vehicle, which also came under fire. The Foreign Press Association in Israel (FPA) protested to the army on April 25 over the shooting.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Capt. Jacob Dallal said the army was taking the incident “very seriously” and investigating it.

Nasser Ishtayeh told CPJ that an Israeli army jeep tried to run him over along with other Palestinian journalists who were trying to cover an army action yesterday. The journalists were on a main road reporting on the eviction of families from a building during a military raid in the al-Makhfiyeh neighborhood of Nablus. A soldier threatened the journalists and sped toward them in a jeep, forcing them from the road.

On April 22, Reuters cameraman Ashraf Abu Shaweesh was hit by rubber bullets when filming clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in Nablus. Shaweesh, who was wearing a vest that identified him as a journalist, became involved in a verbal confrontation with a soldier. Later he was hit twice in the leg and chest by rubber bullets. The FPA said it viewed the incident with grave concern.

“We deplore these actions which endanger the lives of journalists and call on the IDF to credibly investigate these incidents, and ensure accountability,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.

During both the periods of unrest known as the intifada, CPJ documented dozens of incidents in which journalists were assaulted, shot or killed by IDF gunfire. CPJ has decried the failure to investigate these incidents and hold those responsible for wrongdoing to account, a situation that allows soldiers to continue to act with impunity.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley stands by his bigotry

Nolan Finley,c riticized for racist remarks in his columns, has responded to the Asian American Journalists Association arguing that racism is protected and free speech.

Nice, Nolan! And you are supposed to be a professional journalist.

Saudi journalist freed

Saudi journalist, accused of un-Islamic writings, is freed
Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA
Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568
Contact: Abi Wright e-mail:
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

New York, April 20, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Saudi journalist Rabah al-Quwai’, who was held for 13 days in retaliation for his writings about religious extremism.Al-Quwai’, a writer for the daily Shams, said he was compelled to sign a statement saying that he had denigrated Islamic beliefs in his writing, that he was not a true Muslim, and that he would defend Islamic values in his future work. Had he not signed the statement, al-Quwai’ said, he would have faced a charge of riddah—a renunciation of Islam—which is punishable by death. Al-Quwai’ was freed on Saturday.

Ha’il police summoned al-Quwai’ on April 3 on the pretext that he needed to fill out paperwork related to threats the journalist reported receiving in 2005. Al-Quwai’ said he was transferred to the Department of Investigation and Public Prosecution, where he was interrogated twice, each time for six hours. His lawyer, Abdelrahman al-Lahem, was denied access to al-Quwai’s files and was not allowed to meet his client.

Al-Quwai’ was released after he appeared before the Ha’il provincial governor, Prince Saud bin Abdelmuhsin bin Abdelaziz. Al-Quwai’ was barred from leaving the country.

The journalist said he was threatened last November, when the windshield of his car was smashed and a letter was left that said, “First time your car, next time you. Go back to your religion and leave these fictions behind. This is the last warning.”

In his writings, al-Quwai’ warned that religious extremism would lead to a September 11-type attack in Riyadh and criticized the strict religious interpretations of hard-line Wahabbi Islamists. The journalist has received several other threats from suspected religious extremists. The articles being questioned had been published on the Internet three years ago, al-Quwai’ told CPJ.

“While we’re glad that our colleague has been freed, the coercive circumstances of his release are alarming,” said Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Saudi officials must allow him to continue his work without further persecution.”

Since September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia’s government has loosened the shackles on the domestic press and local journalists have seized the initiative to produce more daring reports on crime, drug trafficking, unemployment, and religious extremism. Under pressure from religious authorities, however, the government frequently reins in criticism by banning newspapers, blacklisting writers, and pressuring journalists behind the scenes.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Monday, April 10, 2006

US slaying of journalist in Iraq found unlawful

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: Contact: Abi Wright e-mail:

Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105


Iraq: Reuters inquiry finds U.S. shooting death of journalist “unlawful”

New York, April 10, 2006—Reuters news agency said today that an inquiry it commissioned into the shooting of one of its journalists by U.S. troops in Iraq found that the killing was “unlawful” and a violation of U.S. military rules of engagement. The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern at the findings.

Reuters said the inquiry by Risk Advisory Group (TRAG), a European risk management consultancy, found the August 28, 2005 shooting of Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled unjustified.

“These troubling findings reinforce the perception that U.S. troops have acted with indifference or recklessness when journalists have sought to cover their activities,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “The military has consistently failed to properly investigate the deaths of journalists at its hands.”

Khaled, 35, was shot several times in the head and chest by U.S. snipers as he drove with cameraman Haidar Kadhem to investigate an attack on Iraqi police in Baghdad's Hay al-Adil district. Kadhem was wounded and was held by U.S. forces at an undisclosed location for three days. At the time of the shooting, Kadhem had been filming through the windshield with a small hand-held camera and at one point briefly leaned out the window, Reuters said. The car was then riddled with 17 bullets. An investigation by the Army unit responsible for the shooting said that the soldiers who opened fire acted within rules of engagement that allow them to fire if they feel under threat, Reuters reported.

The conclusions of the TRAG report were summarized in a Reuters story which said the use of force by U.S. troops was neither proportionate to the perceived threat as required under the rules of engagement nor justified. Khaled’s car was stationary when it came under fire. Ballistic evidence "supports the contention that shots were fired to kill or injure the occupants" rather than disable the vehicle, the report said.

“We conclude, based on the independent evidence and the evidence of Haider Kadhem, that no hostile act took place and no act could have been legitimately mistaken as indicating hostile intent," the TRAG report said. “The engagement was therefore in breach of U.S. Rules of Engagement and, in our opinion, on the current evidence was prima facie unlawful.” Reuters gave the report today to the U.S. military but said it would make only an executive summary available to the media. CPJ intends to review the summary.
The report also criticized the U.S. military for the conclusions of its own investigation, and for loosing Kadhem’s video footage, a critical piece of evidence that was taken from the cameraman.

Of the 67 journalists and 24 media support workers killed in Iraq since March 20, 2003, at least 13 journalists and two media support staffers have been killed by U.S. forces. Several of these 15 media deaths suggest indifference by U.S. soldiers to the presence of civilians, including members of the press, according to CPJ analysis. In most cases, the U.S. military has either failed to investigate journalists' deaths or it has not made its inquiries public. The findings from the few investigations that have been released have not credibly addressed questions of accountability for shooting deaths, and whether U.S. forces are taking necessary measures to differentiate between combatants and civilians in conflict areas.

“We hope this inquiry will prompt the military to properly account for the death of Waleed Khaled and other journalists killed by U.S. forces in Iraq,” Cooper added.
CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

For more information, visit

Bridges TV reaches more than 1 million homes -- FBI Town Hall Meeting planned

FBI Townhall meeting planned
Paul Moskal, the Chief Legal Counsel of the FBI, will be holding a Townhall Meeting on Bridges TV next month, answering your questions directly on national television. Adnan Mirza, Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH) will host and moderate this historic event.

To participate in this Townhall meeting, please submit your questions for the FBI at:

This week Bridges TV has grown from 10k premium pay homes to over One Million basic cable homes as a Free channel. Please see the press release below for more detail. Feel free to share this press release with your local media contacts. This historic growth would not have been possible without your commitment and support. Thank you.
Sincerely,Muzzammil HassanPresident, Bridges TV

PS: Advertising inquiries can go to Mike Neff at

Bridges TV Expands to Basic Cable and into Canada
Expansion gives unprecedented voice to Arab and Muslim Americans / Canadians

[Detroit, Michigan April 8, 2006] Bridges TV has transitioned from a premium pay channel to basic cable on several cable and satellite systems, including WOW! Cable, Buckeye Cable, Shrewsbury Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and Globecast Satellite. This covers cable markets in parts of Detroit, Chicago, Toledo, Columbus, Boston, Dallas, Tampa and Washington D.C. Bridges TV has also been approved by the Canadian Radio & Television Commission (CRTC) to start broadcasting in Canada, where it will soon launch on Rogers Cable. The Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan has made this expansion possible with a charter sponsorship.

The launch of Bridges TV as a free channel on basic cable comes at a time when Middle Eastern and South Asian communities around the world are in the spotlight. Most recently, the controversy around the management of American ports by Dubai Ports and worldwide protests against the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad have highlighted deep divisions between Western and Middle Eastern / South Asian cultures.

"As the world continues to be shaped by issues such as the war on terror, the ongoing struggle in Iraq, and the democratization of the Middle East, one of the greatest needs of our time is greater understanding between Western and Eastern cultures. Bridges TV is groundbreaking because now, simply while switching channels from CNN to Fox News, millions of Americans and Canadians can stumble on Bridges TV, and get a completely different and unique perspective on the most compelling news events of our time," said Muzzammil Hassan, CEO of Bridges TV.

Brad Mefferd, Chief Operating Officer of Buckeye Cable in Toledo, Ohio, said that the launch of Bridges TV as a free basic channel allows the network to reach a much wider audience while also appealing to the desires of Americans for greater understanding of the Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures. "If the network can bridge gaps of understanding between the West and the East, then we have provided a great service to the world."

On Monday May 15th at 9pm ET/PT, Bridges TV will make yet another history. Paul Moskal, the Chief Legal Counsel for the FBI, will hold an FBI Townhall Meeting exclusively on Bridges TV. Mr. Moskal will take direct questions from Muslim and Arab Americans on national television. And on Sunday May 14th, Bridges TV will hold the cable TV premier of PBS hit movie Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. Bridges TV broadcasts original daily newscasts, current affairs shows, childrens programming, travel shows, documentaries, sitcoms, movies, music videos, sports, comedy, food, business and magazine shows.

The purpose of Bridges TV is to create a platform for dialogue and friendship between the West and the East. The English language network is the first of its kind and is aimed at the more than twelve million Americans of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, as well as millions of Americans and Canadians with an interest in these cultures, especially due to the current world situation. There are an estimated two million Canadians of Middle Eastern and South Asian heritage.

It really fills a void, said Adnan Mirza, a director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Theres a clear disconnect between popular American media and Muslim audience. The nice thing is, this is not just for the Muslim audience. Bridges TV gives a clear understanding of the issues to viewers and an opportunity for us to speak for ourselves. Mirza added, Americans are increasingly interested in better understanding Middle Eastern cultures, and Muslim Americans want to be better understood. Bridges TV creates a public platform for this dialog.

World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, showed his support for the network as he helped launch Bridges TV last year in Chicago. Ali believes that Bridges TV will help to overcome the erroneous image of Muslim Americans "Let the rest of America get to know us the way they would get to know their next door neighbor. I hope Bridges TV will be very successful for the sake of all Americans," he added.

Bridges TV News Director, Nancy Sanders, formerly of WKBW-TV, the ABC news affiliate in Buffalo, NY, said that Bridges TV has made great strides in getting views not normally taken in the mainstream news. As an example, she cites Bridges News extensive coverage of the humanitarian efforts of major American organizations to help earthquake victims in Pakistan and India. We've been able to get into the hearts and minds of communities forgotten or overlooked by major media operations by covering cultural events and seeking opinions whenever any major news story breaks, she added.


About Bridges TV To request a DVD about Bridges TV, email or call 716-961- 3109.For high-resolution photographs, please visit
Contacts: Muzzammil S. Hassan, CEO, Bridges TV: 716-662- 5321; mohassan@bridgestv.comMike Neff, Adv Sales, Bridges TV: 716.961.3140;
phone: 716-308-6593

Radio Tahrir program and journalism training

Host Aisha Adawiya talks with NY-NJ based human rights attorney Engy Abdelkader.

Ms. Abdelkader is author of A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Her Civil Rights. See news, reviews, poetry, Iraq voices and interviews with writers on our web page --

April 18, 7 pm on WBAI, Tahrir is hosted by BN Aziz. We feature Tamara Issak's report on NJ political candidates and an Arab critical view of US media presentations of the war in Iraq.

Contact us about our radio journalism training course for young Arab and Muslim students beginning soon.


BBC to expand its broadcasts to Arabic

BBC appoints Arabic TV news editor
(From the Arab American News, Dearborn, MI)

BBC World Service has appointed a News Editor for its Arabic Television Service to be launched in 2007. Salah Negm, 50, a former BBC programme Editor, is currently General Manager with the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in Dubai. His wide editorial and management experience in the region also includes working as Director of News after the launch of the Al Arabiyah satellite channel and roles with the satellite broadcaster, Al Jazeera.

"I'm very excited about re-joining the BBC to help launch and run its Arabic TV service," says Salah. "It's the best job in broadcasting for me - a chance to use my experience as a journalist to offer a television audience throughout the Middle East, a news and information service in Arabic informed by the BBC values of accuracy, independence and impartiality.

"I don't underestimate the challenge - or the competition in a crowded media market-place. But BBC Arabic will be the only major international news provider in the Middle East offering a service in Arabic across television, radio and online - sharing views and perspectives across the region and the wider world with access to unrivalled resources for gathering and analysing news which will have wide appeal."

Jerry Timmins, BBC World Service Head of Africa and the Middle East, said: "Salah Negm is a well known journalist with a long and distinguished track record. He is committed to the values which have won the BBC huge respect in the Middle East."

Nigel Chapman, Director BBC World Service, added: "Salah is joining a powerful team who will lead this channel to success. We are fortunate to have someone of his calibre and track record who understands both the competitive market in which our Arabic TV service will operate - and the core BBC values which will underpin the new service.

Salah will work to the Launch Director, Gary Rogers, a former Editor with BBC Television News and Channel Five, who has launched TV channels in Asia and the Middle East. Other colleagues will include the Head of the BBC's Arabic Service, Hosam El Sokkari, responsible for ensuring the new service becomes part of a multi-media offer alongside the existing 24/7 radio and online services in Arabic. The Project Manager is Elwyn Evans, a former Editor with BBC television news who has launched channels in the UK and abroad.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Saudi Journalist detained for Internet forum postings four years ago

Journalist Detained for Internet RemarksEbtihal Mubarak, Arab News
Rabah Al-Quwayi
The Arab News

JEDDAH, 9 April 2006 — Saudi journalist Rabah Al-Quwayi, 24, has been detained by Hail authorities in connection with his writings posted on Internet forums, which they allege place his Islamic faith in doubt.

Al-Quwayi, a reporter for the Riyadh-based daily Shams, has been in Hail police custody since Monday.

“They asked me about topics I wrote on the Internet four years ago,” Al-Quwayi told Arab News from his detention center.

Hail police chief Gen. Nasser Al-Nowaisser said Al-Quwayi is detained under a warrant requested by the Commission for Prosecution and Investigation.

“Our job was to execute the warrant. As his case is not a public offense, we have nothing to do with the course of the investigation,” said Al-Nowaisser.

When Arab News contacted Ahmad Al-Mashhour from the Hail office of the commission, he refused to comment on the case.

Lawyer Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem announced yesterday that he would be representing Al-Quwayi. The lawyer said he is still unclear who the plaintiffs in the case are; nobody has come forward as the accusers. The commission has the legal right to detain any suspect for up to six months, said Al-Lahem, but the reasons have to be clear.

“The crime must be a serious one, like drug-trafficking, theft, or when there is a likelihood of the suspect fleeing the country,” said the lawyer.

The story of Al-Quwayi’s detention goes back to November when he was based in Hail as a part-time reporter for the Okaz newspaper. He said that unidentified people had been tracking his postings on Internet forums regarding religious extremism. His car was subsequently vandalized and a note was left on the dashboard that said: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful: This time it is your car but next time it is you. Return to your religion and forsake heresy. This is the last warning.”

Al-Quwayi says that he believes the harassment is based on his Internet writing and not anything he’s published in the two newspapers he has worked for.

In a telephone interview with Arab News on Tuesday night, Al-Quwayi said that authorities in Hail contacted him asking him to come in and fill out some paperwork related to his complaints of harassment that stem from the incidents last November. He responded that he had obligations at his job and couldn’t come in. The police sent an explanation letter to the editor in chief of the paper, and Al-Quwayi was given permission to go to the police station. He was immediately arrested upon arrival. Police told him they had discarded his complaints of harassment and opened a new investigation into his Islamic faith.

“They told me that if I didn’t complain to the police in the first place they wouldn’t have suspected my beliefs,” said Al-Quwayi.

Al-Quwayi said the commission investigators were peppering him with questions that were meant to determine his religious knowledge. He added that commission investigators argued with him on topics he posted on the Internet four years ago.

Lawyer Al-Lahem said that now that he’s taken on the case, his first steps would be to review the warrant to make sure it has been done according to proper procedure, and to request the case be moved to Riyadh where he and his client live.


Friday, April 07, 2006

NAAJA to work with UNITY in organizing Chicago 2008 Conference

NAAJA has been invited to participate with the local committee of UNITY in planning for the 2008 Convention in Chicago. We will keep you up-to-date on activities.

Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) joins in protest of Nolan Finley

AAJA sends letter to Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley to protest his inflammatory remarks about how the "Palestinian lust for Jewish blood is stronger than their desire for peace." The column, which appeared Feb. 5, also contained statements such as "terrorism is the history of the Palestinian people."

April 5, 2006

Mr. Nolan Finley
The Detroit News
615 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226

Dear Mr. Finley:

We write to object to your Feb. 5 column that casts an entire people as having "a lust for Jewish blood." It goes beyond free speech and crosses the line into racial stereotyping.

While we understand that unpopular opinions sometimes offend, you seem to repeatedly express an unqualified bias against a group without backing up the inflammatory opinion, and we want to know why.

This sort of baseless, and hyperbolic name-calling, is offensive to readers, offensive to other journalists -- and inappropriate for a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper that strives to serve its community and uphold the highest journalistic standards.

We at AAJA -- whose membership represents more than three dozen nationalities and ethnic groups in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands -- urge you to publicly acknowledge that your commentary crossed the line by demeaning all Palestinians, and for you to encourage a truly open discourse on the subject by inviting and publishing commentary from those with a competing, alternative perspective.

We await your response.

The Media Watch Committee
Asian American Journalists Association

cc:David J. Butler, Editor & Publisher
Susan Burzynski, Managing Editor

Saturday, April 01, 2006

NAAJA activities at University of Texas at Austin

In collaberation with the Asian American Journalists Association, we areholding a great speaking event this Saturday. All the information is givenbelow:


WHO: Leila Fadel, reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

WHEN: Saturday, April 1st 11 a.m.-noon
WHERE: CMA 2.320 (The Communications Building is located at the corner ofDean Keaton and Whitis)

Leila Fadel is an Arabic-speaking Arab American journalist at the Fort WorthStar-Telegram, where she was awarded "Employee of the Year." She graduatedsumma cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston in 2004 and works asa crime reporter at the Star-Telegram. In June 2004 Knight Ridder Newspaperssent her to Iraq for a two month reporting stint. The 24-year-old reporterhas since been back to cover the elections, Saddam Hussein's trial and thedaily miseries of living through war. Fadel was also co-organizer of theJournalism and the Arab World Conference held at the University of Texaslast year. She was recently featured in this month's Saudi Aramco World as one of the Jack Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship Award recipients.You can find the article here:

Fadel will return to Iraq in mid-April. Please join us for an informal discussion about her experiences as a young Arab American journalistcovering the Iraq War. The talk will be part of AAJA's Texas State Meeting. Information on theone-day conference is given below: REGISTRATION (9:30 a.m.-9:50 a.m.)

LOBBY GETTING THE JOB YOU WANT (9:50 a.m.-10:50 a.m.)‹CMA 2.320Panelists:* Debbie Hiott, assistant managing editor, Austin American-Statesman* Dino Chiecchi, director of Hispanic publications, San Antonio Express-News* Allison Smith, reporter and anchor, KEYE TV, Austin* Emily Tsao, family editor, The Dallas Morning News

POSTED IN IRAQ: TALES FROM A YOUNG REPORTER (11 a.m.-noon)‹CMA 2.320 Youdon¹t have to be a veteran to land an international assignment. But bewarewhat you ask for.Panelists:* Leila Fadel, reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram* Moderator: Joslyn Massad, NAAJA-UTLUNCH (noon-1 p.m.)

LOBBY Sponsored by the Austin American-Statesman. Haveideas for how AAJA can do a better job? AAJA Texas officers hold regionalbreakout sessions over lunch.

COMPUTER-ASSISTED REPORTING AND USING PUBLIC RECORDS (1 p.m.-2 p.m.) ­ CMA2.320 Sponsored by IRE. Want to run better investigations? Hear from acouple of veteran Austin investigative journalists.Panelists:* Andy Alford, reporter, Austin American-Statesman* Nanci Wilson, investigative reporter, KEYE TV, Austin

TV STORYTELLING/ACHIEVING EMMY EXCELLENCE (2 p.m.-4 p.m.)-Rm.3.116 Sponsoredby Lone Star Emmy ChapterPanelists:* Jeremy Desel, investigative producer, KHOU TV, Houston* Chris Henao, investigative photographer, KHOU TV, Houston* Rich Parsons, capitol reporter, KXAN TV, Austin

DOING YOUR OWN THING (2:05 p.m.-3 p.m.)‹Rm 3.120 It ain¹t sexy, but it¹s agood living. A Dallas-Fort Worth area freelancer offers tips on grinding outa great paycheck from freelancing.Panelist:* Steve McLinden, freelance reporter, Arlington, Texas

TAKING BETTER PICTURES (2:05 p.m.-3 p.m.)‹3.112Panelist:* Kevin Fujii, photographer, Houston Chronicle

NEXT-GENERATION DELIVERY (3 p.m.-4:15 p.m.)-3.120 Newspapers are strugglingto retain readers, ethnic pubs are gaining ground, and blogs are afast-growing new information source. What to make of all this?Panelists:* Dino Chiecchi, editor of Hispanic publications, San Antonio Express-News* Rob Clark, editor, Quick, The Dallas Morning News* Larry Lutz, managing editor/next-generation products, and recruiter, FortWorth Star-Telegram* Sharon Meraz, University of Texas at Austin

GETTING YOUR NEWS INTO THE NEWS:-- CMA 2.320 An AAJA community media access conference (3 p.m.-5 p.m.)Panelists:* Andy Alford, reporter, Austin American-Statesman* Mitchell Gibbs, Habitat for Humanity, Austin* Michael Pearson, assistant news director, News 8 Austin* Sharon Roberts, assistant managing editor, Austin American-Statesman

ONE-ON-ONE CRITIQUES (3 p.m.-5 p.m.)‹Rm. 3.112 (broadcast to begin at 4 Rm. 3.116) Shooting for your next job, or just trying to get better? Havethe pros critique your work! This session will be in high demand, so pleasesign up by March 24 with coordinator Mizanur Rahman, The Dallas MorningNews,* Jeremy Desel, investigative producer, KHOU TV, Austin* Lisa Falkenberg, Austin bureau reporter, Houston Chronicle* Kevin Fujii, photographer, Houston Chronicle* Chris Henao, investigative photographer, KHOU TV, Houston* Rich Parsons, capitol reporter, KXAN TV, Austin* Eric Torbenson, airlines reporter, The Dallas Morning NewsAAJA RECEPTION (5 p.m.-6 p.m.), Texas Student Union, Governors Room ­Sponsored by University of Texas School of Journalism. Cap the day with thisreception, sponsored by the UT School of Journalism! All conferenceattendees are invited!

STUDENT PIZZA DINNER (6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.)-- Austin¹s Pizza, 2324 Guadalupe--on the UT Drag. Sponsored by Lone Star Emmy Chapter. All students areinvited to drop in for the Texas Chapter version of AAJA National¹s wildlypopular Student Pizza Night! Pick the brains of the pros, and enjoy freegrub! Panelists:* Kevin Fujii, photographer, Houston Chronicle* Crestina Chavez, evening anchor, News 8 Austin* Sharon Roberts, assistant managing editor, Austin American-StatesmanFor questions or comments regarding the event with Leila Fadel, please contact