Saturday, 12 February 2011

AL-JAZEERA ???????

As the Egyptian riot police car went up the Qasr Al Nil bridge, couple of demonstrators throw a Molotov cocktail at the car and set it on blaze. Immediately the Jazeera English cameraman turned away and pointed is lenses on 4 guys walking down the street, in front of the Hilton Hotel, where the cameraman was shooting from one of its rooms. Few seconds later, he turned his camera back on that riot police car. The blazes were now put down and there was a very small tinkling flam near the top hatch of that car. I consider myself a journalist and a reporter, who covered a war zone for years, yet, I was unable to comprehend, why the Jazeera cameraman would turn his Camera away as this action is taking place in front of his eyes. As I was wondering, the Jazeera English studio anchor asked the reporter ( Ayman Mohyaldin) about that Molotov cocktail . Great, so I was not the only one who saw that.

“We have not seen any Molotov cocktails and we could not confirm that” Ayman responded to that question. It was an event that took place in front of him only few Seconds ago. Later that day I saw exactly what happened to that riot police car, in details , but it was shoot by the Cameras of AFP on ( France 24 TV) and also on (Euronews) from exactly the Same angle. 2 men ran next to that car, throw a Molotov cocktail into it, through the top hatch and setting it on fire and tried to open the side door of the car. The policemen inside the car managed to put down the fire immediately. To my surprise I also saw Molotov cocktails being thrown at riot police and burst into blazes as it falls on them. But all that was not on Al-Jazeera. Because Al-Jazeera kept saying that those are “Peaceful demonstrators”. Yes it is true the protesters were peaceful, but those police trucks and cars were not self-ignited. Yes the protesters were not violent, but some did resort to violence. There were clashes, which what happens in every revolution. This s only showed that Al-Jazeera was covering the news with a clear agenda in Mind and the reporters were commentating like political analysts not as objective reporters impartially reporting news. At one point it sounded that the new Vice president Omar Suleiman should actually go and start talks with Ayman Mohyaldin , instead of straining talks with the Muslim brotherhood or any other opposition group.

Few days later after that riot police incident, a Jazeera presenter hosted a renowned Egyptian commentator from London. As that commentator told the presenter that the Name of Al-Tahrir( liberation) Sq. came from the famous incident, when Saad Zaghlool called for the liberation of women and women demonstrated in the Then ( Ismaileyya ) Sq and took off their Vials ( Hijab ) and stepped on it as a sign of women liberation early in the 19th century . The Jazeera Presenter immediately interrupted the commentator and told him that this is wrong and this is not the right story behind the name. The commentator started laughing and affirmed to the presenter that this is the real story and the presenter could check it, but no, the Jazeera which is posting the Qaida beheadings and promoting an Islamist agenda could not have such ideas carried by its air waves.

Throughout the whole coverage of the events in Egypt, Al- Jazeera Hardly reported that that banks are closed, ATMs are empty, there are lines of people in front of Bakeries, lines at gas stations and that people did not get their salaries at the end of the month. Other highly respected, professional and objective news outlets, like BBC Arabic, did.

I personally get irritated every time I hear the tone and the Language that Al-Jazeera uses in its coverage for any matter, for I believe that it is inciting and provocative. One example one the coverage of the events in Egypt, a presenter asked a western commentator the following question (isn’t it time for the US to stop its back up to Egypt and cut the Money it gives to Mubarak?). Is it just me or dose this this question should be the other way around (back up to Mubarak and money to Egypt)?!

Now that the Egyptians did a marvelous Job that made the entire world bow with respect and admiration, Al – Jazeera started to Name its next target ( Algeria ). Conveniently, the Cameraman turned his Camera on that direction so that he does not have to report what is happening in Syria and Iran.