CNN is running a week long series entitled "Eye on the Middle East." Hala Gorani is reporting from Amman, and Jim Clancy is reporting from Beirut. They are holding live events in both capitals, and they are doing a fantastic job.
Jim Clancy hosted a showcalled CNN Connects focusing on issues effecting Arab youth [the program aired in Beirut at 8pm Tuesday night]. He brought together a group politically active people in their late 20s - early 30s from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Some major trends became apparent:
1) For people actually working for democracy, like the Iraqi pollster and the Lebanese activist Asma Andreos, America was not the major issue. They focused on issues that affect our daily lives. However, the others blabbered on and on about the evils of America, which really didn't advance their arguments about how they would build what they wanted in their countries.
Even when asked specific questions about how to make their countries better, these individuals chose to speak about America. They all had advice for what America should do, but had none they could vocalize for how to achieve their own goals.
2) Arabs don't know anything about each other. ...
Go to the link to read the rest. Also, don't miss the e-mail interview with Omar and Mohammed of Iraq the Model, covering Lebanese/Iraqi relations.
Has what happened in Lebanon had any effect on the situation in Iraq? Do people ever talk about Lebanese affairs, politics, political figures? Do Iraqis, regardless of sect, think much of Hezbollah? Are Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Ayatollah Fadlallah even known by Shia in Iraq? Do you know what Iraqi Shia think of al Manar TV?
I personally think the situation in Iraq and Lebanon pretty much began to relate to each other since the assassination of Hariri. Many Iraqis think that the freedom of speech in Iraq had encouraged the Lebanese to start the Cedar revolution.
And, also many Iraqis are optimistic to see more pressure applied on Asad and his gang and they hope the international investigation will lead to ending the rule of Ba'ath in Syria or at least get the Syrians to leave Iraq alone ...
Read it all at the link. And be sure to check out that CNN feature.