Al-hudood is an Arab original content provider that employs satire and comedy to shed light on current and dominant issues related to the Middle East. Al-hudood has creatively and imaginatively tackled political, social and economic issues that affect the daily lives and interests of people in that region.
August 29, 2013; 5 years agoAmman, Jordan, JO
Isam Uraiqat Kamal KhouryAmer Duaik
Number of employees
With the strong restrictions on freedom of speech in the Middle East, Al-hudood took advantage of the flexibility and freedom that satire provides, and became an alternative media outlet that discusses various important and sensitive regional issues. It tackles such issues without having to adhere to the limitations imposed on traditional media by authority and society due to the nature of fiction.
Al-hudood has tackled issues of human rights, corruption, freedom of speech, gender equality and good governance, and portrays these themes in a manner that could be related to by readers from across the region, from a open, secular perspective, highlighting personal freedoms, freedom of speech, and feminism, using a darker, critical lens.
Especially after the political change that swept through the Arab world in 2011, the youth in the region have become either apathetic to politics, or engaged in current sectarian and political polarization, in both cases leading to a growing disinterest in political and social dialogue. Al-Hudood reached this important demographic and gave them an alternative, progressive and independent perspective.
Al-hudood commits to the highest standards of content quality and industry ethics. their material, despite being on the comedic side, dissects and critiques Middle Eastern political and social issues, in a manner intended to raise interest and awareness on issues related to everyone, and be read by the masses and not limited to the elites and intellectuals. Yet, it is highly regarded by journalists and human rights activists for its approach.
Al-hudood's satire has become an important way for people to analyse news rather than read it at face value, as it contrasts the real against the absurd, and creates stronger media literacy in the readers. Thus, Al-Hudood has become a crucial part the media ecosystem, and as a way to highlight the absurdities of news and politics. Al-Hudood also pushed people to question their media sources, as news outlets have proven to be highly unprofessional, and users must not always read them literally, especially in the Middle East that is.
Religion[edit | edit source]
The website does not mock religion, but does take aim at clerics who use their power to foment rage. One article that caused controversy was titled: “Lucky child born to parents of correct religion”, without specifying their faith.
Al-hudood's influence on the real world[edit | edit source]
This has been the case with several pieces by Al-Hudood, which have been taken, word for word, by other media and newspapers. In this regards, Al-hudood has pushed some of the publications themselves to start questioning what they read, and do less of the copy-pasting. Al-Hudood, has gained publicity in the Middle East when they published an article about the Jordanian police arresting Santa Claus and confiscating all of his gifts for not paying the customs before entering Jordan.
Funding[edit | edit source]
Al-hudood currently operates through grants, the youth group's editorial staff has been supported by the European Endowment for Democracy, an institution of the European Union that provides grants to those working for democratic change. It is also being funded by the open Society Foundations and the Heinrich Boll Foundation. The original satirical site in Jordan could not rely on advertising to exist or develop. Arab advertisers have never dared to take risks by investing in an "extraordinary" media.
Al-hudood's Mission[edit | edit source]
Al-Hudood’s mission is to create a dialogue between people in the Middle East by providing a space where all sorts of issues can be discussed. And aims to be a leading driver of change towards a more tolerant society in the Middle East.
Awards[edit | edit source]
In 2018, Al-Hudood was granted the special award by One World Media, ”The judges were impressed that over a sustained period Al-hudood have used satire and irony, including a satirical media award, to tackle a wide a range of important subjects in the Middle East region, often causing offence to those in power – so much that the current editor cannot go to his home country of Jordan. The organisation has also focused on publishing the work of women writers and training over 200 people in satirical writing.”
References[edit | edit source]
- (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Arab online satire | DW | 09.10.2017". DW.COM. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "Poking the Establishment, The Documentary - BBC World Service". BBC. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "How the Middle East's Al-Hudood eases even its haters into reading its irreverent satire". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- Shaheen, Kareem (2018-02-09). "Al-Hudood: the Onion-style website poking fun at the Middle East". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "Jordanian website turns to satire to combat heavy news". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "Satire prompts dialogue on sensitive topics, say ISOJ panelists – International Symposium on Online Journalism". isoj.org. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "Political Satire without Limits- Al Hudood". https://www.democracyendowment.eu. External link in
- "Jordanie : AlHudood, un site satirique pour rire de l'actualité arabe". geopolis.francetvinfo.fr (in français). Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "2018 One World Media Award Winners". One World Media. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
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