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Our news and their news

By Mira Khatib

 

Here I am on my annual vacation in Canada. I love to return every year and spend my summer in the beautiful city of Mississauga. Friendly people, lots of greenery, and good Sushi. Frankly, there is no pressure to do anything except relax and relax more. So what does this have to do with news?

Well, as I wake up really early, yes even during my vacation, the first thing I do as I am having my morning coffee is watch the news. Yesterday I have decided to watch both the Arabic news side by side with the Canadian news; yes two TVs On at the same time one having the two most famous Arabic news channels along with the two Canadian news channels one national and one local. For over two hours I flipped between the four channels trying to compare what’s on.

Our News; discussed wars in many parts of the Arab world; killings by this group and that group; terrorism hitting this area or this city; divisiveness between the different groups; detentions; conspiracies; refugees; or this president or that ruler said this or did that; frankly, dark and depressing news. And for the sake of being fair, few minutes on the state of the stock market and sports.

Their News; the weather and how to avoid direct sunlight and staying hydrated; a car accident on one intersection that caused fire hydrant damage; schedule of events happening in the down town and at some park; nature and environment matters and Canada post possible strike. And for the sake of being fair, less than a minute on world affair (including what is happening in the Middle East and the US black lives matter recent shootings).

Now, one may agree that news is a reflection of current events happening around us; or we in the Middle East are better informed with what is reported in our news. True; but where is the fun and optimism in our news? Why do we have to repeat and reiterate the exact same news over and over to engrave the opaqueness in our minds that drives anger? Yes, one has a choice to switch off the news and opt to find another fun channel to watch; yet and sadly the other TV options we get now a day revolve around video clips or meaningless drama. Remember I am only comparing news channels in our part of the word and in the Western world in an attempt to establish a link that their people seem happier, more relaxed and certainly more tolerant than our people in a time when we Arabs need to break out of what seem as an eternal cycle of anger and start having “normal” and balanced news.

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