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19 October, 2005

Silver screen Saudi

A big congratulations parcel of films is being wrapped up at Cell Block G to send to our Saudi neighbours, after the exciting news that the Kingdom is finally allowing a cinema to open, though only to show foreign cartoons.

What great animated cinematics should we choose for them? The first on the list must be the outstanding South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, as they will surely enjoy its graphic battle scenes and sensitively-portrayed warmongering antihero Saddam Hussein.

Next up is the iconic animated pastiche of a US road movie, Beavis And Butthead Do America. This doubles up as an excellent way for Saudis, who can struggle to get foreign visas, to see the famous sights of the United States of Bushland. The plot, which involves smuggling a dangerous biological weapon from Las Vegas to Washington DC, will surely amuse!

Assuming that stop-motion animation is also permitted, how about Team America: World Police, with its accurate and gritty depiction of real-life counter-terrorism. Given the Kingdom's firm commitment to root out extremism, they will certainly find this both entertaining and enlightening.

But the Saudis musn't be limited to Western culture, with countries like Japan producing so much world-class animation. Surely Saudi kiddies will adore all those scary Japanese tentacle beasts?!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

methought only Khaleej Times had a trumpet of its own - "your favouirte No 1 newspaper." Now it has company. Gulf News apparently is "the giddy professional pinnacle."
The full quote: "It is a depressing inevitablity for almsot any journalist - even one that has scaled the giddy professional pinnacle that is Gulf News -.... " Gulf News Tabloid Page 5

Since when did reporters think themselves better than those they interview, even if it is Gulf News?

19 October, 2005 14:19  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Hmm... to me, that rather smacks of being tongue-in-cheek. I certainly hope it is, anyway ;)

Though the Gulf News, among local and regional papers, is not bad at all, it's pretty good in fact. Over the time I've been here it has really improved in many areas, and the website is great.

19 October, 2005 14:44  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

you should include in Yellow Submarine as well as it is quite educational about marine life

19 October, 2005 14:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..." the Gulf News, among local and regional papers, is not bad at all, it's pretty good in fact."

Who could forget all those campaigning they did for Secretdubai's cause, and that Tabloid spread on blogging too....

No, I imply nothing.

19 October, 2005 14:59  
Blogger secretdubai said...

You can imply what you like! I've held this opinion for long before the events of July. I have never personally worked there nor do I have any friends that work there. I just think as regional papers go, it does a good job.

19 October, 2005 15:04  
Blogger Parv said...

I doubt Japanime would stand a chance against good ol' Tom & Jerry. Never could get enough of that cute little mouse.

Nevertheless, I love your cynicism.

Well written post.

19 October, 2005 15:07  
Blogger said...

There was actually an arabic version of South Park called Block 13, set in Kuwait City not to long ago... It had characters who dressed like the ones from AirArabia's current campain , but was no way near as rude as the original cartoon, but it still subtly approached borderline at times. I would of love to see a big screen version of that.

19 October, 2005 15:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fritz the Cat?

A classic from 1972.

19 October, 2005 15:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @: 19 October, 2005 14:59
I also did wonder abt secy's stand in favour of gulf news. Was not aware of that campaigning, although I knew this blog was blocked. This surely makes things clear.

19 October, 2005 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with SD that Gulf News is indeed a good paper. And I do take back that 'i imply nothing' bit because for the good work you do, I don't want to question your integrity. :) was being smart myself, you see...
But it really irks me, especially from a good paper, when I read these reporters putting themselves ahead of the report.
Check out any average celebrity interview (of the Bollywood kind) that appears in Tabloid. It starts with a lengthy intro on how the reporter was kept waiting, on how the starlet recognised the reporter despite having only once met earlier, of how the reporter didn't like the celebrity's gaudy attire... it goes on and on - this holier-than-thou attitude.
I think the waiting game on celebrities and their tantrums and airs have come to be too accepted a thing, readers don't care a mite. And if the reporter is so offended, why wait?

I know this is not a blog to write about the media's ways. But I find the same put-on smart alec-ism in some of the new dailies too.

Worse is when you read an agency copy on the net and then catch a rehashed copy - with blatant mistakes - the next day on one of Dubai's tabloids. And how about using your byline with a mug for rehashed agency news? That is a regular in you know where...

19 October, 2005 16:23  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anon@16.23 - totally agree.

In terms of being partisan: yes of course I feel gratitude to GN for their role in lifting the ban. However I wouldn't give them praise if I genuinely despised the paper. If I honestly thought GN was rubbish, my gratitude would probably button my lip (as opposed to the KT where I'm happy spewing forth my contempt, useful though that paper is at digging up amusingly salacious nuggets of human drama).

I don't take any stand in favour of any one of the UAE papers. I haven't seen EEP enough to comment. KT is a disgrace. GN does a good job and has improved admirably over the past three years. 7Days is great fun now, it has dramatically improved, when it first launched it was hellishly bad. ET is looking like a very solid, tabloid-sized version of Gulf News, with the strongest features of all the papers. It also has an exceptionally clever website.

Reading online, GN is probably my current favourite, followed closely by ET. Reading offline, 7Days is my favourite, because it's quick and the letters are hilarious. I can't stand manually reading a broadsheet-sized newspaper.

19 October, 2005 16:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Saudis should produce their own cartoons, how about these names for starters:
wahhabi the puppy
Burqa Barbie

19 October, 2005 16:41  
Blogger Garthicus said...

Fantastic, I can see it now, South Park in Saudi. Tee hee, imagine the reaction to Big Gay Al and the 'Uncle fu*ker' song?

How about a few choice episodes of the Simpsons, in particular when Homer smokes dope..

But alas, I'm sure Saudis number one cinematic hit this year will be Steamboat Willy.

19 October, 2005 16:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On ET, I disagree, SD. I expect a newspaper, a bold tabloid with sufficiently strong patronage, to make an impact with its stories.
Do you remember even one hard-hitting story from the ET stable since its launch? Its opening day story was pitiable - and just to prove how meek it was, it hardly had a proper follow up.
Despite despatching a handful of reporters to Pakistan, there was hardly a story that was mind-blowing. The despatches were nothing more than a predictable blend (of looters, sufferers etc). Incidentally, I also do not understand how one dirham of the newspaper's price will go for charity, when on the first hand, it is mostly got free.
Two, I find their features rather glib - a very boringly staid sort of stories - on nature, environmentalists, charity workers. And the writing lacks flair. The entertainment side is weaker still - a veritable potpourri of distanced (as against involved) rehash jobs.
Finally, what I really feel is that they lack good ground level reporters, who have a biting nose for news. A few good ones can make all the difference...

19 October, 2005 16:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is FREE? where is that then?
i have been buying it daily from Park 'n' vomit.

19 October, 2005 16:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree about ET. Big disappointment. It's just bland and dull. There's not one section that I look forward to or turn to immediately....whereas with 7Days there are at least three sections I feel I can't miss...

19 October, 2005 17:23  
Blogger black feline said...

South Park? not for a thousand bet is Walt Disney's animation..particularly Aladdin! It's going to be the acid test of this liberation policy..i cant wait to see the uproar from all sectors..the characters are definitely arabs..but from the american's perspective...

19 October, 2005 18:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

South Park is a NO,NO, one of them is jewish.

19 October, 2005 20:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First anon, I think it was definitely tongue in cheek. So much so that, if I was the editor, I'd be keeping a sharp eye on that reporter.

You know, as I read comments it seems half the people writing in don't properly read or understand SD's posts. Cartman, for example, seems to have totally missed the point. Or am I missing something subtle in his comment?

19 October, 2005 23:25  
Blogger secretdubai said...

You know, as I read comments it seems half the people writing in don't properly read or understand SD's posts.

Cartman's comment made me laugh! But I am feeling this too and it is really stifling me. I don't want to lock off comments, but it gets to the stage where I daren't post certain thing, or use irony/sarcasm, in case someone goes off on an absolute rocket about it.

I very nearly didn't post this article either, in case someone freaked out.

I know it can be a struggle if English isn't your first language, but if it isn't, then maybe it's safer to take a step back before reacting strongly, in case you are missing a spoof or joke or devil's advocacy.

Actually I think I'm kind of getting to the Cartman-style "screw you!" phase: the next overly-precious, semi-literate fool that takes massive umbrage at something they have completely misunderstood is going to get short shrift.

19 October, 2005 23:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the way you used "short shrift." Though archaic, the usage hits when used at the right place. Btw, you do seem to get the right words at the right place.

20 October, 2005 00:54  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Now that really made me laugh! Because before I chose "short shrift" I had something far less polite typed in ;)

20 October, 2005 02:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, I think that would be perfectly fair because otherwise EVERY post is going to descend to Dishdashes vs. Goras vs. Subcons vs. Black Feline. It's getting a mite stale. And I started reading regularly only about two weeks ago!

May be you should post something on the subject of Less Umbrage, More Umble.

And also something on how difficult this damn anti-spam word recognition game is getting.

20 October, 2005 03:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

growing up in saudi, we were exposed to censored disney cartoons on tv. mickey and minnie were not allowed to hold hands. the muppets show excluded all scenes with miss piggy. so i am left wondering what kind of cartoons will they show? the little mermaid with no mermaid? beauty and the beast with no touching or romance? or simply cartoons like tom and jerry, with the scenes of the maid censored cuz we see her legs? i doubt it the cinema will be a cinema but simply a movie shown in a multi-purpose auditorium. i cannot believe people fell for this gimmick.

by the way, they came out with al-shamshoons, the arabic version of the simpsons. That is totally absurd and extreme height of foolishness. Homer is Omar. D'oh! Loooooool!! They are removing all objectionable scenes that make Simpsons THE Simpsons. What's Homer without his beer, which is now changed to Soda? What's Springfield without the various characters like the Jewish and the Indian guys?

It's total foolishness to even think of doing an arabic simpsons by removing everything that makes up simpsons. Al-shamsooooons, give me a break please!!!!!!!

SOS- Save Our Saudis

20 October, 2005 03:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret: i didn't know that GN had helped you out but even if so, this is certainly not a valid reason to dismiss your opinion as tainted and biased. Clearly GN is the best, given the limited newspapers on offer. That said, there is nothing very original about GN because most of it is comprised of reproduced articles from the international syndicates - however it's much more serious and cogent than KT which has assumed a sort of SUN type trashy appeal, sans page 3 but with kinky stories about celebrities and pics of the pretentious party/social scene in Dubai tossed in to keep intellectually challenged / wannabe /horny expats fully engrossed. The paper has really deteriorated over the past year. btw I'd be interested to read the pieces in GN about your blog. Can you post the link?

A footnote about short shrift...From the tone of one of your remarks above: "getting to ....the "screw you!" going to get short shrift. "

in the modern sense,the phrase short shrift means no more than scant/careless attention, however consider this:

"In early medieval times penances were long and arduous lengthy pilgrimages and even lifelong exile were not uncommon and had to be performed before absolution, not after as today. However, less demanding penances could be given in extreme situations; short shrift was a brief penance given to a person condemned to death so that absolution could be granted before execution."

ha your usage is apt!

keep it up Secret :)

20 October, 2005 04:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking the newspaper debate a little further ... Secret Dubai's bias towards GN is quite obvious, so is her scorn for KT.
Don't care much about any newspaper in this part of the world, but going through almost all newspapers everyday as part of my job I have noticed a pattern that starts off with KT, and GN is almost always quick to follow.
For example: when KT started its special attention towards local content... A week later, GN followed suit with its own (at the risk of sounding biased) lame, months-old local stories.
KT started putting an index on its front page and what do you see in Gulf News a few days later ... an index of local stories.
I admit they do a better job, and look cleaner in their layout ... But garbage wrapped in crisp paper with a ribbon and bow on top is still garbage IMHO.

20 October, 2005 04:57  
Blogger samuraisam said...

i prefer gulf news (:
they used to include free life insurance with their subscriptions.

i cant stand khaleej times for some reason, just cbf reading it.

20 October, 2005 05:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I've been reading both these papers since I was a kid. My family subscribes to both of them (don’t ask me why ... they just do!!)

Initially we felt that Khaleej times was way better that GN, even their kids magazine "young times" was considered far superior to GN's "junior news" ( which, I guess is discontinued now) So KT was always the first choice for my family.

But, somewhere between then and now, KT lost their plot. They're downright unreadable now. Mistakes all over the place!! Even simple spelling and grammatical mistakes, which a major "your favorite No.1 newspaper" should not be making. GN is definitely better now; I'm not saying they're No.1.... but definitely better. The competition from all the small fries can only spur them on to be better now – I hope.

My family still reads both the papers (can’t quench my Dad's thirst for the news... no matter how bad) But KT has take a backseat for now.
Maybe it's the editor. No offence Mr. Galadari.

20 October, 2005 08:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kt looks abysmal, has terrible leaders and awful grammar. but it has a slight spirit of independent journalism that you will never find in the slavishly pro-government, pro-big family business coverage of the gulf news. i agree with anonymous of 20 October, 2005 04:57. gulf news is a good-looking piece of shite, rather like the one my daughter managed to drop in her potty this morning. well done!

20 October, 2005 10:15  
Blogger moryarti said...

on the Silver Screen thing ... i can't help but visualize a basement packed with religious police, movie reels and a truck load of black markers! :P

20 October, 2005 11:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said... about Hello Kitty for Arab girls?
Not every Japanese cartoon is disgusting, as "hentai" has very yucky sound. I know because I am fluent in Japanese.

20 October, 2005 12:21  
Blogger s said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 October, 2005 13:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>secretdubai said...
>but it gets to the stage where I daren't >post certain thing, or use irony/sarcasm, >in case someone goes off on an absolute >rocket about it.
Come on SD, flamewars are unavoidable in any popular boards. It should not refrain you from being creative. Sacasm is the main ingredient that I like in your blog.

20 October, 2005 14:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD :"Actually I think I'm kind of getting to the Cartman-style "screw you!" phase: the next overly-precious, semi-literate fool that takes massive umbrage at something they have completely misunderstood is going to get short shrift."

Come now, gimme a break, what with your holier than thou, "smarter than you coz I speak fluent english n u dont", attitude !

Just bcoz someone may disagree or take offence at what you say does not mean that person is a dumb ass. Your views may attract genuine criticism, without necessarily being based on ignorance or illeteracy.

i think u being readding too much of black feline's posts..tee hee hee

20 October, 2005 14:59  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Just bcoz someone may disagree or take offence at what you say does not mean that person is a dumb ass.

Oh dear: your complaint has just proved the point. The issue here is one of comprehension, not literacy. You have basically misunderstood the the point that anon@23.25 was making, and that I replied to.

Please read again what anon@23.25 wrote:

You know, as I read comments it seems half the people writing in don't properly read or understand SD's posts.

And what I wrote:

I know it can be a struggle if English isn't your first language, but if it isn't, then maybe it's safer to take a step back before reacting strongly, in case you are missing a spoof or joke or devil's advocacy.

And see if you can find how that is relevant to your complaint:

Just bcoz someone may disagree or take offence at what you say does not mean that person is a dumb ass.

Because it isn't. You have misunderstood, just like we were saying! No one is complaining about different points of view, we are getting frustrated with people arguing about stuff they have misinterpreted.

20 October, 2005 15:13  
Blogger CG said...

I remember the old days of Aramco tv....we would get Daktari every day and on Fridays we would get an extra long version (omnibus they would call it these days)....but Daktari it was day after day and occasionally, like once a month we would get a movie. If something naughty came up in the movie (like a father kissing his daughter goodnight on the cheek) then someone would hold up a board covering it......
I don't think Saudi has changed much.

20 October, 2005 15:22  
Blogger kingfisher said...

Ladies and Gents:

...Ummm, seeing how most urban hipsters seem to have a grasp of the world... how come any of you believe any newspaper has any value whatsoever? Don't they just publish the usual pap from the "man"...? I mean really, there is no real intellectual prowess in these rags...
Are we still believing everything we read...?

... as for Saudi Cinema... well, there always was cinema in KSA, it was just underground like everything else that was (is) fun... I was going to digital DVD projection cinema in Riyadh as early as 1990... In my first week of arriving in Riyadh in the late '80s I watched a Playboy DVD, courtesy of the --- Embassy diplomatic mail bag... the discs went around our company before they went to the Prince whose interest fueled the demand...

Keep on rockin' in the free world...

20 October, 2005 15:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes.. but with the advent of satellite TV I doubt if there are many takers for state sponsored saudi govt tv???

besides all the companies that own the rights to satellite television in this region are owned by Saudis, some of them in very high places!

so its ok for them to make money out of 'perverted ' western entertainment, but hey don't show that on govt TV...

20 October, 2005 15:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kingfisher.. you forgot the mention the well stocked bars ( a connoiseur's dream ) in 'you know whose' houses !

or were those just mirages?

20 October, 2005 15:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O tempora! O mores!

20 October, 2005 17:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found the whole news coverage on Simpsons in Arabic hilarious. After AirArabia's rip-off of South Park, I think its high time those brainiacs at MBC or whatever channel it is make an Arabic version of South Park called 'Saudi Park' or an Arabic version of Dexter called 'Dexter and the terrorist lab'.

Guys and girls, can you pitch in please and come up with more zany ideas for cartoon shows please.

20 October, 2005 17:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an arabic version of South Park called Block13. That is where Air Arabia got the idea from.

20 October, 2005 17:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an arabic version of South Park called Block13. That is where Air Arabia got the idea from.

20 October, 2005 17:56  
Blogger Garthicus said...

Here we go folks:

D'oh! Arabized Simpsons not getting many laughs

Friday, October 14, 2005
By Yasmine El-Rashidi, The Wall Street Journal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- When an Arab satellite TV network, MBC, decided to introduce "The Simpsons" to the Middle East, they knew the family would have to make some fundamental lifestyle changes.

"Omar Shamshoon," as he is called on the show, looks like the same Homer Simpson, but he has given up beer and bacon, which are both against Islam, and he no longer hangs out at "seedy bars with bums and lowlifes." In Arabia, Homer's beer is soda, and his hot dogs are barbequed Egyptian beef sausages. And the donut-shaped snacks he gobbles are the traditional Arab cookies called kahk.

An Arabized "Simpsons" -- called "Al Shamshoon" -- made its debut in the Arab world earlier this month, in time for Ramadan, a time of high TV viewership. It uses the original "Simpsons" animation, but the voices are dubbed into Arabic and the scripts have been adapted to make the show more accessible, and acceptable, to Arab audiences.

The family remains, as the producers describe them, "dysfunctional." They still live in Springfield, and "Omar" is still lazy and works at the local nuclear power plant. Bart (now called "Badr") is constantly cheeky to his parents and teachers and is always in trouble. Providing the characters' voices are several popular Egyptian actors, including Mohamed Heneidy, considered the Robert De Niro of the Middle East.

MBC hopes "Al Shamshoon" will be the first of many adaptations for the growing Arab TV audience. "We are opening up a whole new genre of programming in the Middle East," says Michel Costandi, MBC's business-development director. Suppliers of Arabic-dubbed Western cartoons say demand had been sky-high for years, with Walt Disney Co. dubbing countless animations. Now broadcasters are looking for something new. "The advent of the satellite era in the Arab world has created -- and is still creating -- new channels on a continuous basis," says Sherine El-Hakim, head of Arabic content at VSI Ltd., a London-based company that dubs and subtitles TV shows and other content for broadcasters and corporations.

With 60 percent of the population in the Arab world under the age of 20 -- 40 percent is under age 15 -- the market for Arabized animations is vast. "Arabization is going to boom in these next few years," says Ms. El-Hakim. "We're such an impressionable people and we aspire so much to be like the West, that we take on anything that we believe is a symbol or a manifestation of Western culture." "Pokemon," "Digimon" and other animated shows from Japan were popular first, she says, "but now the Americans are taking over."

"Al Shamshoon" is currently broadcast daily during an early-evening prime-time slot, starting with the show's first season. If it is a hit, MBC envisions Arabizing the other 16 seasons.

But there's no guarantee of success. Many Arab blogs and Internet chat sessions have become consumed with how unfunny "Al Shamshoon" is. "They've ruined it! Oh yes they have, sob. ... Why? Why, why oh why?!!!!" wrote a blogger, "Noors," from Oman.

Some longtime "Simpson" fans who are Arabs are incensed over the Arabized version. "This is just beyond the pale," wrote As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University, Stanislaus, whose blog, angryarab blogspot, often touches on politics and the media. After viewing a promotional segment of "Al Shamshoon," Prof. AbuKhalil wrote, "It was just painful. ... The guy who played Homer Simpson was one of the most unfunny people I ever watched. Just drop the project, and air reruns of Tony Danza's show instead."

Few shows have more obsessed fans than "The Simpsons," and their vast online community is worried about whether classic Simpsons dialogue can even be translated. One blogger wrote, "'Hi-diddly-ho, neighbors!' How the h -- are they going to translate that? Or this great quote: Mr Burns: Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese."

A blogger, who uses the name "Nibaq," wrote, "I am sure the effort (of) the people who made this show to translate it to Arabic could have made a good original show about an Egyptian family living in Egypt, dealing with religion, life and work and trying to keep a family together. That way they can proudly say Made in Egypt, instead of Made in USA Assembled in Egypt."

Ms. El-Hakim says when it comes to Arabized animation, the market is still in its experimentation phase. A few boom years for adaptations of U.S. content may be followed by a surge in locally created productions, she says.

20 October, 2005 18:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD - I gotta huge crush you baby..

20 October, 2005 18:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the Saudis musn't be limited to Western culture, with countries like Japan producing so much world-class animation. Surely Saudi kiddies will adore all those scary Japanese tentacle beasts?

or Japanese Hentai, I'm sure Saudis would love a taste of Japenese perversion.

20 October, 2005 22:34  
Blogger Mansour said...


I wanted to let you know that you and your blog have been mentioned in the latest edition of Time Out Dubai, Oct 20-25, vol. 5, issue 17. You are on page 18, under the pretext of being one of the 40 hidden gems in Dubai. Well done!


21 October, 2005 05:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret where art thou??

From Time Out --->

"Secret Dubai diary
When the paternalists at Etisalat decided to block the Secret Dubai web blog in July this year, they accidentally triggered off a debate over internet publishing and freedom of speech. A couple of newspaper articles later, the site was unblocked and Secret Dubai began to attract more readers than ever before. The author – whose identity remains unknown – has used their brush with infamy to help forge the Middle East’s foremost blogosphere, while regularly updating the best source of Dubai gossip and debate on the internet.

21 October, 2005 11:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you on leave??

21 October, 2005 11:46  
Blogger secretdubai said...

No - I'm here - just having a bit of a sleep. Being sleepy and lazy ;)

21 October, 2005 16:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh - great to know it's just that...enjoy your siesta!

21 October, 2005 18:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Intro: when I arrived 16 years ago they wuz only da Trade Centre etc.,....)

I realise this thread started out discussing Saudi cinema fare...but I can't help weighing in with my pet hate....local newspapers!!

Gulf News is good? I'll acccept they have a neat layout and design, and pleasant typefaces, but I think it stops there. And ET? Don't make me laugh. As for KT, you know it better than me, I of their editors came out with this line in an op/ed piece on Islamic fundamentalism: "fundamentalism is now the proverbial 'alabaster' around the necks of the average Muslim..." Not to mention the absolute riot of typefaces etc.,

Media in Dubai? Let's take a case in point:

Man fails to pick up his wife from church on Thursday afternoon. Found by police late Friday, wrists slashed, locked in the boot of his car.

Saturday: GN reports it on front page. (Didn't see ET that day).

Subsequently: Police decide it's suicide. Family just can't believe it.

GN tries to "suggest" it could be more than that. (Very daring indeed--at least, compared to the others.)

Police are miffed at the suggestion. ET says: "Police are miffed at the suggestion." Nothing more. Just what the Police said. Indeed. If it was a suicide, why do our readers NEED to know more? The Police just said it was suicide, didn't they?

As for 7DAYS, the crusading newspaper...they never even heard of the story, so how could they report it? (I think they eventually carried a small para saying "Police confirm suicide" or something like that.

Moral: want news? Read the Times of India. Or The Guardian. Or Straits Times. Or Gulf Madhyamam. Or listen to Asianet Radio.

The local papers are for spreading your Thali on.

(Thali= full South Indian meal.)

22 October, 2005 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Times of India?? Mentioned in the same sentence as The Guardian? Forgive me El Condo, I'm Indian too, but asking me to stand by TOI-let is going a little too far. It epitomises 'rag' in every aspect. And it's no secret that TOI is driven by marketing and not editorial. Give me GN any day. At least you can see they are really really trying.

24 October, 2005 21:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to many countries and I must raise my hands and say that GN is one of the best newspapers. I have also read Arab Times while in Kuwait and while their internet edition is'nt upto scratch their paper is just as good as GN. The British papers with the possible exception of the Guardian and the Telegraph are ALL TABLOID TRASH. The content of International Herald Tribune is quite good, but the layout is depressing. Less said about USA today and NY times the better... the Times of India is quite good, but I personally prefer the 'anti establishment' Indian Express.

25 October, 2005 11:22  

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