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The Arab Spring and the U.S. Response: American and Middle Eastern Students Speak Out

Abstract

 

The “Arab Spring” galvanized global media attention on political upheaval in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Observers around the world felt the rising tension and tumult of change, especially among the young people of the region, and yet the gulf between cultures continues to threaten understanding and peace. In an era when social networking rivals TV news coverage and when mobile text messages substitute for interpersonal channels of communication, the views held by U.S. and Middle Eastern college students can either unite or divide the cultures. In order to understand how young people view media and current events that frame the conflict, this study uses survey data as a comparative indicator of the level of conflict between students of MENA and the United States. This study examines communication activities and political views on college campuses in Doha, Qatar, Dubai, and Cairo, Egypt, and in Peoria, Illinois and Lafayette, Louisiana. The results show a higher level of engagement in news and public affairs among Middle Eastern students and a contrast in opinion regarding political issues and events.

William R. Davie,Steven J. Dick,Maha Bashri,Mohammed Galander,,James St. Pierre

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