Arab Media Forum opens

By Carolina D'Souza and Noorhan Barakat, Staff Reporters
Dubai:  True to its theme titled ‘Arab Media: Exposure and Transition', the 11th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF) 2012 opened with a message highlighting the pressing issues faced by the media landscape in the region.
The AMF was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture.
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The 11th edition was termed as a "testimony" of the vital role of the media in the Arab world that is going through a critical phase, especially for the youth.
The keynote address by renowned Arab scientist Dr Farouk Al Baz stressed on the need to educate more than 120 million Arabs who cannot read and to encourage youth participation in raising standards of Arab language that will aid development.
Speaker Dr Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice-President of Zayed University echoed his sentiment stating, "The question of development remains at the centre of the Arab world and involves institutions at levels including governmental and educational. We need to ask: has the media taken up to the challenge of development? Was the media up to the events that have passed? Has the media helped push the wheels of development or was it burdened in its reactions and stayed behind?"