Organized by the Center for American Study and Research (CASAR), "Connections and Ruptures: America and the Middle East" was held at AUB on January 7 and 8 and was inaugurated at the Commodore Hotel on January 6. A comprehensive survey of US President Barak Obama's foreign policy measures from January 2009 to January 2010 marked the opening ceremony of the center's third international conference.
Professor Maria Ryan from University of Nottingham was a member of a panel discussing the globalization of law and terrorism. She said that the war on terror was not meant to be restricted to the Middle East, but it also included countries in Africa, the Caspian region, and the western Pacific region.
The analysis of the type and focus of the coverage led to the following: Western media are more likely to focus on Israel than on Lebanon in their stories.
The Israeli focus was most dominant in the Israeli channel, followed by US media.
Israel criticized itself more so than US TV networks criticized it. As a result, Israeli TV networks included reports that blamed Israel for starting the war, whereas the US media under study never blamed Israel.
"The study showed clear ruptures between Arab and US TV coverage and clear connections between US and Israeli TV coverage," said Melki. "On the other hand, there is no uniformity among Arab and even Lebanese stations." University of Tehran's Marziya Motaharri said that Western coverage of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections was skewed in favor of the opposition.
"There are many sides to a debate," she said. "Western media coverage magnified one side and degraded all others."
The conference also gave fair attention to culture and the arts, with spotlights on poetry, literature, and even political hip-hop from the Middle East, featuring rhymes on Palestine, the war in Lebanon, and identity.