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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 01/31/2011

Story pick: Al Jazeera English for all things Egypt

By Brigid Schulte

From the end of the reign of Cleopatra in 30 BC to the mid-20th century, Egypt was ruled by a succession of foreign powers. Once it gained its independence and the last British troops left in the 1950s, it has had a succession of three autocratic leaders who came to power either by force or by inheritance.

To follow not only the latest breaking news on the mass protests that have erupted throughout Cairo and other Egyptian cities in the last week, I read newspapers and checked online websites. I found Al Jazeera English's Anger in Egypt spotlight to have the wealth and breadth of information I was looking for. I found videos, Twitter and Facebook feeds from the protesters themselves as well as up to the minute reports on the collapse of the Hosni Mubarak government.

More, I found satellite maps of the "Day of Wrath" showing the exact location of each of the protests, a timeline of events and an extensive documentary, A Nation in Waiting, on the political history of modern Egypt and the deep roots of the current angry upheaval. Al Jazeera remains highly controversial as a news source--its decision to air Osama bin Laden's diatribes in full, as well as some of its reporting on the United States leads some to believe that the broadcaster's political bent is sharper than it claims to be -- but the channel has been must-viewing throughout the Arabic-speaking world in recent weeks, and was even taken off the air in Egypt over the weekend, blamed by the Mubarak government for inciting the masses (though the footage it showed of the events seemed entirely of a piece with that being shown by almost any Western broadcast outlet.)

By Brigid Schulte  | January 31, 2011; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Comments

Yes, of course.

Any person interested in the Arab perspective on the events in the Middle East has to look at Al Jazeera English.

We complain that Egypt has blacked-out this station in the last couple of days, but the United States has permanently blacked-out this site: no major cable T.V. station broadcasts it.
The whole world, including Canada can watch Al Jazeera, but not us.

Posted by: kevinlarmee | January 31, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

http://egyptinternetprotest.blogspot.com/

Posted by: dseigler2 | January 31, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The whole world, including Canada can watch Al Jazeera, but not us.

Posted by: kevinlarmee | January 31, 2011 7:27 AM

You sir, do not have Verizon FiOS.....which has this channel.

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 31, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"...but the channel has been must-viewing throughout the Arabic-speaking world in recent weeks, and was even taken off the air in Egypt over the weekend..." Yes, the channel IN ARABIC has been. So why did Egypt block English? Well because of the pictures, which although you can get them on any western site, you can not get them in Egypt!

Actually if you want a full middle eastern view of what is going on, you should view Al Jazeera in Arabic. (What, you say, in this day and time you don't speak Arabic...shame on you, as a journalist). Also what makes you think that Al Jazeera in English is the same reporting as in Arabic...it isn't.


Posted by: mil1 | January 31, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Egypt was under foreign rule for hundreds of years before Cleopatra. Cleopatra was not Egyptian; she came from the Ptolemaic Dynasty, which was Greek.

Posted by: StellaPh | January 31, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@4thFloor: Verizon FIOS in Florida does not offer al Jazeera; at least, it's not on their channel line up. Where does Verizon FIOS offer it?

@mil1: You are correct. Al Jazeera notes that it's English-language network is separate from its Arabic network, though they do share feeds, etc.

Posted by: Garak | February 1, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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