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Ten Years On: Media Framing of Political Events in Lebanon

Friday, June 11, 2021, 11:00am CDT

Facebook Live

Today, Lebanon features one of the most severe economic crises in its history. Combined with the coronavirus pandemic and deepening political gridlock, the residents of the country are experiencing acute economic dislocation, political alienation, and daily hazards to their lives and wellbeing. The October 17 Revolution and August 4 Beirut Port explosion simultaneously—albeit differently—reflected and added to the underlying features producing such crises. This panel aims to explore how the Lebanese media are dealing with this turmoil, shedding light on the framing of events based on political agendas.

Panelists include Hatim El-Hibri, Ayman Mhanna, Dima Issa, and George Eid. Maria Bou Zeid moderates, and Adel Iskandar is the discussant.

This is the sixth signature event of the project Ten Years On: Mass Protests and Uprisings in the Arab World, of which 3CT is a partner.

Hatim El-Hibri is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies. His research and teaching interests focus on global and transnational media, visual culture, Lebanon and the Middle East, critical theory, and the historical entanglement of media technology and institutions with the production and contestation of urban space. His first book, titled Visions of Beirut: The Urban Life of Media Infrastructure, is forthcoming from Duke University Press (2021).

Ayman Mhanna is the Executive Director of the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation, the leading freedom of expression NGO in the Levant region. He joined SKF in September 2011. In this capacity, Ayman oversees the Foundation’s monitoring of violations targeting media and culture professionals, advocacy for more liberal legislation, research into the future of the media sector, and training activities to build the capacity of emerging, independent media initiatives. From January 2016 to February 2017, he was also the Executive Director of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), a network of 200+ media development and journalism assistance organizations. Both at the Samir Kassir Foundation and GFMD, Ayman oversaw the organization of large scale conferences, workshops and festivals, gathering hundreds of participants. He previously served as Senior Program Officer for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (2007-2011) working on election observation, electoral reform and civil society involvement in public policy-making. He was also a lecturer on the Master’s program at Saint Joseph University’s Faculty of Economics, teaching Policy Development and Communications (2011-2016). Ayman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Saint Joseph University in Beirut and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris. He is a member of Friends of Europe’s European Young Leaders program – MENA chapter (class of 2017) and a member of the international Contact Group on Content and Jurisdiction at the Internet Jurisdiction Policy Network for 2019-2020.

Dima Issa

George Eid is a senior correspondent/media trainer based in Beirut. A multilingual (Arabic, English, French, German, Greek) correspondent, anchor, and documentary producer, he has worked for several outlets including Voice of Lebanon and Sky News Arabia (Abu Dhabi), and he is currently the Head of News Operations/ Senior Correspondent at MTV Lebanon news. He has also been the Middle East correspondent of the 75-year-old English newspaper Cyprus Mail since August 2020. He reported on several humanitarian and sociopolitical issues and was known to tackle taboo and delicate subjects. Eid was among the first teams to enter Aleppo as a reporter with Sky News Arabia in 2012 to cover the Syrian war from a humanitarian perspective. He earned a Master’s degree in marketing media and management from Sorbonne IV in 2014. He is a university lecturer at Notre Dame University, USJ, ALAC in addition to being a coach and trainer/consultant in communication/media/personal branding and journalism, and the producer of the first documentary about the Greeks of Lebanon, Kalimera Men Beirut, which was first shown in March 2017 and was selected for screening in 8 International festival, earning the 1st prize in Amorgos Film Festival.

Maria Bou Zeid (Moderator) is an Associate Professor and the Chairperson of the Media Studies Department at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU). She is also the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute (ASI) – Beirut Office. Dr. Bou Zeid holds a Doctorate in Media Studies from Université Paris II, Assas, Paris, France and a D.E.S. in Journalism from the Lebanese University in collaboration with the French Press Institute-IFP and the Center for the Formation and Perfecting of Journalists-CFPJ, Paris, France. Her research interests include: Media Ethics and Media Education. She is also engaged in research on higher education in the Arab world tackling issues such as the efforts of Internationalization in the field of Higher Education in the MENA region along with the challenges that the Lebanese Education sector is currently facing. Bou Zeid has also an extensive professional experience in the field of television production and broadcast journalism.

Adel Iskandar (Discussant) is an Assistant Professor of Global Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of several works including Egypt In Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution (AUCP/OUP)Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism (Basic Books), Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation (University of California Press), and Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing). Iskandar’s work deals with media, identity, and politics, and he has lectured extensively on these topics at universities worldwide. His forthcoming publication is the coedited volume Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring (Palgrave Macmillan). Iskandar taught for several years at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Communication, Culture, and Technology program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is a co-editor of Jadaliyya.

This event is free and open to the public. Visit Jadaliyya’s Facebook page for the livestream.

This event is organized by the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program at George Mason University, the Arab Studies Institute, and the Asfari Institute at the American University of Beirut.

Ten Years On: Mass Protests and Uprisings in the Arab World is organized by the Arab Studies Institute, Princeton’s Arab Barometer, and George Mason’s Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and co-sponsored by Georgetown University (Center for Contemporary Arab Studies), American University of Beirut (Asfari Institute), Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Brown University (Center for Middle East Studies), UC Santa Barbara (Center for Middle East Studies), Harvard University (Center for Middle East Studies), University of Exeter (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies), Birzeit University (Department of Political Science), University of Chicago (Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory), Stanford University (Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, Stanford University), AUC Affiliates, Georgetown University (Qatar) Center For International And Regional Studies (CIRS), The Global Academy (MESA Affiliated), Institute of Palestine Studies.