Banu Akdenizli takes a close look at the diplomatic use of social media in the Gulf states.
An Abu Dhabi-based Arabic TV channel launched a series of new Chinese entertainment and cultural programs for the first time in the Arabic language. The line-up, entitled USILK, broadcast different programs and series not only on China’s culture and entertainment, but also on China’s politics and new strategies under the Xi Jinping leadership. The move indicates China’s willingness to expand its media footholds and to better communicate China’s messages to the region.
When Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, tried to raise financial support for the children of Middle Eastern refugees, she said many Americans tended to “look at her blankly.” It turns out that there was a widespread belief among donors that the Gulf nations are “rich oil countries and they don’t take care of their own,” she said. More troubling was a prevailing stereotype that the region is “a hotbed of terrorism.”
The opening of the centre marks two important milestones, a milestone in the friendship between Nato and Kuwait, and a milestone in the blossoming partnership between Nato and the entire Gulf region, he said. “Nato’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative — the ICI — was designed to contribute to long-term regional stability, so I am extremely pleased that our three other ICI partners are represented here today: Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
Efforts to leverage Qatar’s 2022 World Cup hosting rights to create the soft power the Gulf state needs to punch above its weight and ensure a sympathetic hearing in the international community in times of emergency operate on the Leninist principle of two steps forward, one step backwards.
How a Saudi comedian is promoting the country to YouTube audiences even as he criticizes it.
The NATO-ICI Centre will foster cooperation between NATO and Gulf partners in a number of areas, including strategic analysis, civil emergency planning, military-to-military cooperation and public diplomacy. It will also serve as a link between NATO and the Gulf region, to share expertise and improve understanding.
Cultural diplomacy plays a vital role projecting a soft image of Pakistan globally and pave the way to explore new avenues to boost trade in UAE and Gulf region.