In my program Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives now going into its 5th year under the auspices of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, I emphasize to my students the importance of Critical Thinking, Media Literacy, and an Interrogative Approach.
Today I came across a perfect example to illustrate the importance of both of those skills in an article published o the website Al-Monitor.
Let me be clear, I respect Al-Monitor //www.al-monitor.com/pulse/about, it is a valuable platform of information which I often reference, and I have been quoted in numerous articles.
However, that does not mean that one should not apply critical thinking to articles published on this or any other platform of information.
Al Monitor publishes an English and Arabic edition. It also publishes articles about Turkey and Iran in Turkish and in Farsi.
Recently, an article was written by a Palestinian journalist and published in Al-Monitor.
The Arabic website’s headline for the article was: “Hamas” Imposes Exaggerated Sums on the Owners of the Recreational Beach Resorts in Gaza”
The English website’s headline for the same article was: “Gaza’s Beaches Unseasonably Empty”
The substantial difference between the two titles is clear. The issue and the emphasis is presented from two totally different perspectives with completely different associations.
I am posting links to both articles – from the English edition of Al-Monitor and the Arabic edition of Al-Monitor
Here is the link to the article in the English edition of Al-Monitor – http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2017/07/gaza-municipality-rental-prices-beach-resorts.html
And here is the link to the article in the Arabic edition of Al-Monitor http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/originals/2017/07/gaza-municipality-rental-prices-beach-resorts.html
As I tell my students, the fact that an article is in Arabic is not an obstacle – just “right click” for the translation of the Arabic version of the article. When you “right click” the Arabic article you will find that there are actually three versions of the article – the original Arabic, the “right click” translation (which in this specific case is a much more accurate translation of the Arabic edition of the article), and the English version.
One article – three versions.
Practice Critical Thinking, Read Between the Lines. Apply Media Literacy. Exercise an Interrogative Approach.
This is what I am teaching my students In my program Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives now going into its 5th year under the auspices of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College.
The program gives future leaders the tools and the skills to be Media Literate Critical Thinkers – essential and universally applicable skills they use to accurately interpret the Middle East and the world at large.