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MEDIA 101

The UAE is a young country that has established a lot in it’s years, one of the major fields that the UAE is still blossoming within is media. The following quotations are taken by the people that have been interviewed regarding this matter. The interview question revolved around the question “when was the first time you realized that you were interacting with media?” “I must say, I haven’t thought of this before. If it’s possible I think I forgot when was the first time I realized that media exists.” – T.A, 24 years old, Emirati. This specific quotation came as a shock to me, a person who is studying media from scratch and knows most of the basics of media and how it all started. After asking T.A the reason behind why he thinks that he can’t remember, his answer to that was that maybe it’s because the Emiratis weren’t the reason behind the media that was introduced in the UAE. Therefore, no one really cared where it came from as much as they cared about what it did and how it made their lives easier. On another note, he also had to say that his grandfather has always told him that media was always around even when he was a child; it just wasn’t as modern as it is now. People were communicating in so many different ways, whether it was by writing letters or faceto-face communication. “Since we did not have television in the house, the first time I realized what media is was when my uncle came back from Germany and had a camera with him. I think I was around 7 years old and I was amazed about how it worked and what it did. Eight years later, I learned in school that cameras fall under the category ‘media’.” – Lucy, 27 years old, British. Lucy grew up in a home where her parents did not believe that television is an important element in the house. The answer she got back when she was asking them why don’t we get a television like everyone else was that this ‘evil’ machine would take them away from each other and would make them communicate less as a family. “They were pro the camera though” she said, because they thought that this just gives


them a chance to make memories and to remember the good days when they were not yet controlled by the media. “Thinking about the years back, I must say my first interaction with media was with Majed’s weekly magazine.” – Fatma, 30 years old, Emirati. Majed magazine is one of the weekly Emirati magazines that were issued in the UAE. It reached all around the Arab world. This magazine was targeted to ages from 7 to 17. Many of the UAE citizens would relate to that magazine since it has played a big role in their childhood. The characters in that magazine and the different part of it were all locally inspired by Emiratis. I think the reason why this certain magazine has left footprints in peoples’ hearts since they still remember it after years of new media being introduced to their lives, is because the Emirati touch that this magazine had and still has. The names of the characters that were chosen were Emirati, the story plots that were written were mostly written for the kids to relate to it. The magazine targeted those people who are living in the UAE mostly, and that is why Fatma remembers it and counts it as a first interaction with media although television was the first media she actually opened her eyes to. “ It is funny how people in the UAE think that media only consists of television programs, radios, or newspaper.” A.A, 29 years old, Emirati. After saying A. added that it was very disappointing to him that people in the UAE don’t have the understanding about the broader meaning of media, and how communication plays a great role in media. Communication was around since a very long time, which was the base or the start of media itself. When parents don’t approve about their daughters or sons studying media nowadays it is not because its media; it’s because they don’t have a good understanding of what media really is and what it came from. Back in the days, those fathers were working as communication tools or we call them now ‘media’ tools. A lot of men back in the days were working as messengers between cities or even countries, they had a rough life and it wasn’t easy for them to make money. One of the ways that they were gaining their pocket money from was going to private offices in the region or even random people and asking


them if they want to send a letter to somewhere specific, they would take that letter and drop it to the specific destination and get paid. “I remember back when I was 12 years old, in the old Dubai going back to the house from school. My friends would gather around a small grocery shop and we would listen to music that was broadcasted on the radio from Egypt.” – A.Al, 50 years old, Emirati. This was A.’s first memory of media in the past. He said that he wouldn’t have known that back in the days the radio was considered as media if he didn’t have the knowledge about it today, radio would just be radio and an entertainment tool. He also said, that the reason why he thought this was considered as media is because in the morning elder men would gather up in the grocery shop to listen to news from all over the world, about what was happening around them, while in the afternoon it was the children’s’ time to gather up and listen to music. Growing up, he knew that news considered, as media that’s why he knew that what was happening back then, the random gatherings in a grocery shop was actually their first interaction with the real modern media.


Media In The UAE