United States Agency for Global Media

Alhurra Television co-sponsors the Kurdistan Book Fair bridging cultures

Alhurra Television co-sponsored the 14th annual Erbil International Book Fair, one of the largest cultural event in Kurdistan, Iraq. Considered a bridge between the Arabic and Kurdish cultures, the event attracted publishing industry professionals from over 30 countries. It started on April 3rd and continued for ten days.

During the conference, Alhurra hosted a panel discussion on the portrayal of terrorism in art, featuring Ibrahim Eissa, the host of Debatable, one of the channel’s most talked about shows. The panel also incorporated the voices of Alhurra.com op-ed columnists, Colette Bahna and Rustom Mahmoud.

Mahmoud, a Syrian writer and researcher who specializes in the political and social history of the Middle East, focused on the effect of Arab regimes on violence and the portrayal of terrorists in cinema and television drama. Eissa, a renowned Egyptian journalist and television personality known for his bold ideas, argued that artists and authors who produce movies or write books against terrorism are usually threatened to be killed, or takfiri fatwas are pronounced against them. Syrian playwright, drama critic, and author Colette Bahna who studied the recent transformation in Arabic drama and its focus on extremism said, “this is the trend, (there have been) more than 20 productions discussing this topic recently,” commenting on the stereotypical image of terrorists in these works.

One million titles were featured in the Erbil International Book Fair which is organized in collaboration with al-Mada foundation. It is considered a vital aspect of the Kurdistan area renaissance and has expanded beyond being a book market into an oasis for culture and a platform to exchange ideas freely. It became a meeting point for readers, intellectuals, experts, scholars and research centers.

Last September, Alhurra Television organized a conference in Tunisia entitled, al-Karama al-Insaniyya, (Arabic for “Human Dignity”) on the state and future of human dignity in the Middle East and North Africa, in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). A first for the channel, the conference discussed this concept as it relates to conflict prevention. It explored how political and religious ideologies affect this notion and the different ways to promote it.


About MBN

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the BBG.

MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language radio network that broadcasts music and news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more than 370 newscasts per week.