Lebanon‘s election campaigns brash but empty of content

Never in Lebanon’s election history have the eyes and ears of citizens been saturated — some would even say jammed — with such an overwhelming quantity of colors, pictures, slogans and counter-slogans. Billboards, TV ads, YouTube clips and Facebook pages were ruthlessly employed to target the highest possible number of potential voters which, more often than not, ended up completely confused by the communication blitz. Now that the party’s over, many questions inevitably come to mind. What exactly led to this frenzy in political messaging, and to this particular type and style of...

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Mark Helou and Ramsay G. Najjar

Football and politics: fair play?

June. The grip of football fever will soon engulf the globe as all eyes turn to South Africa, the host nation of one of the biggest events on the planet: FIFA’s World Cup 2010.

Whether one supports the mighty Spanish, the spectacular Brazilians, the creative Dutch or the resilient Germans, emotions always run high; the results can make or break a country’s morale.

The popularity of the game is such that it transcends borders, language barriers and social classes. What was once regarded as the common man’s sport of choice has become a multi-billion dollar business controlled...

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Rany Kassab, Zeina Loutfi and Ramsay G. Najjar

Digital advertises our tomorrow

The future of communication is here in the form of digital signage on buildings, blogs criticizing companies or lauding products, live television shows watched on mobile handsets and online avatar characters used to enter virtual web environments and interact with colleagues, friends and strangers.

This stranger-than-fiction future may not have enveloped the Middle East yet, but in Europe and the US, digital media has been taking over the communication scene with digital ads in doctors’ offices and supermarkets, and people spending the majority of their time acquiring and sending...

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Nohad Mouawad and Ramsay G. Najjar

Conquering the mutated face of censorship

Recently, the satellite providers Nilesat and Arabsat decided on a unilateral basis to block the Al Alam Arabic-speaking Iranian pro-government channel.

Without delving into the underlying causes which triggered it, one cannot but notice the zeal and passion with which a large number of journalists, intellectuals and politicians, often known for their opposition to the Iranian regime, have condemned this action, which they perceived as blind censorship. In fact, this comes as a true illustration of Voltaire’s “I disagree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right...

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Mark Helou, Zeina Loutfi and Ramsay G. Najjar

Communication of faith

What comes to mind when you hear church bells ring or the call to prayer resonate across your city? These age-old holy sounds have been echoing throughout the Arab world for centuries, and are a core part of how the region’s predominant religions connect with their followers. Most people wouldn’t think of these ancient rituals as forms of noble communication, but the way that religions reach out to their audiences is very similar to a company communicating its values.

Pious PR

This idea might seem strange at first, but if we take a closer look we might find that...

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Nohad Mouawad, Zeina Loutfi and Ramsay G. Najjar