(photo credit: Courtesy)
Journalists and photographers from places of regional unrest are reporting from
and contributing to Arabil, the Arabic Internet portal of the Israel
According to IBA spokeswoman Linda Bar, several
professionals have commended the website for its broad range of information, and
some are sending stories and photos.
Even though they are corresponding
with ‘the enemy,’ some are even including their names and phone numbers so as to
get feedback and to learn what specific areas of political activity in their
countries may be of interest to the IBA.
Several have stated that they
regard Arabil as a vehicle for publicizing what is going on in their respective
countries, and have also noted the value of Arabic broadcasts on Israel
The willingness of the IBA to cooperate with journalists in these
countries may indirectly contribute to the Middle East peace process increasing
numbers of hits from the Arab world, and enabling people from different parts of
the region to not only see accurate reports of what is happening in their own
countries, but to also gain a better understanding of Israel.
confidence that Arab journalists and photographers from outside of Israel have
in the IBA is evidenced by the number of exclusives on its Internet site since
the wave of antigovernment demonstrations began just under two months
Reports have been received from journalists in Egypt, Algiers,
Morocco, and the Gulf states. A photographer from Yemen recently sent exclusive
photos as well as video clips of demonstrations and the struggles between
demonstrators and security forces.
Even a caricaturist from Egypt has
sought to have his work appear on the website. Shaike Komornik, the editor of
the site, notes that since the uprisings in the region began, there has been a
significant upsurge of hits, with more than quarter of a million throughout
February, mostly from Arab states but also from people living in the
The average time that any surfer spends on the site is around 15
minutes, which indicates that they are not merely browsing, but actually reading
Some of the material – specifically, the exclusive reports
from Arab countries and anything of a political or a security nature pertaining
to Israel – is plagiarized and subsequently appears on Internet sites of other
countries in the region, which more or less guarantees that it is read by a
large proportion of the Arab world.