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Atef Alshaer

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Atef Alshaer

Abstract

This article focuses on Mahmoud Darwish's long and creative journey in the world of poetry in the context of the Palestinian struggle as represented in his great poem 'The dice player'. The Darwishian world as he portrays it in the 'The dice player' is populated with images of existence, resistance and creativity. Darwish's role in modern Arab poetry and culture is widely acknowledged and celebrated. His voice was unique, authentic and in tune with the music of many souls in Palestine, the Arab world and even worldwide. Indeed, Darwish contributed definitively to the construction of Palestinian identity, and the Palestinian people informed and featured prominently in Darwish's poetry. Darwish's 'dice player' is highly praised in Arabic poetry becaues it embodies emblems of intellectual maturity and identity that are personal and plural, worldly and local. It is crafted with an aesthetic balance that ripples with consciousness, art and humanity.

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Atef Alshaer

Abstract

This paper proposes to use the phrase ‘culture of communication’ to unravel the relationship between language and culture that cannot be understood as merely unexplained mental signposts without constitutive enmeshed ideas. It engages with relevant core ideas and combines theoretical and empirical evidence to put forward the proposition that a culture of communication exists in every culture. The key constituents of a culture of communication, as an analysis of online images used by the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas will show, are diverse verbal, written and visual forms of communication, which relate to each other in intricate ways and which require orderly discursive interpretation. To make my argument, I highlight the concept of culture of communication and the discourses and issues that follow from it. Then, I address the landmark literature on language and culture before considering the case study. My objective is to attempt to discern the relational aspects that underpin socio-political understanding and practices in terms of communication.

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Atef Alshaer Tawil-Souri

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Atef Alshaer and Andrew Hill

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This article analyzes the launch in 2008 of the BBC's Arabic television channel. Drawing upon the work of Lacan, and in particular his conceptions of the discourses of the master and the hysteric, it examines how the channel has sought to position itself as providing a forum for audience participation and debate, and asks why the channel has sought to configure itself in these terms. Underpinning these questions stands the relationship of the BBC World Service (within which BBC Arabic is located), with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The article takes as its focus the channel's 'flagship' discussion program Point of Debate. This program is contrasted with both traditional news broadcasting and Al-Jazeera's pioneering discussion program 'The Opposite Direction.' The paper examines how 'Point of Debate' has sought to encourage a form of questioning and debate that accords with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's public diplomacy objectives. It moves on to analyze the relationship between the intended appeal of the channel and the position it has sought to occupy in the crowded Arab news mediascape. The article concludes by assessing the challenges facing the channel as it attempts to achieve its aims.