Just so that I can come back and read it later and not have to look this stuff up, I’m posting the stories and clips that stood out to me this year.. Egypt, Libya and Bahrain are their own categories. They were/are so much bigger than this. *this post took me a week to write YouTube searches suck. I am now officially glad I wrote this even though no one else reads this blog and will see all my ‘work’ hahaha*
The Stream: Bahrain after BICI Ok this is gold..These fools wouldn’t need so much PR if they weren’t so freaking ridiculous. Also, why pay PR companies when you are going to go on TV and be this arrogant, unashamed.. ? By far one of my favourite episodes of The Stream.. It blows my mind how good this show has become after I hated it sooo much. There’s been so many good ones!
Oman Protests So Dan Nolan tweets that he is going to Oman to cover the protests. I’m all like Woot! He’d been doing meh topics for the most part since Egypt.
He gets there, he’s on camera, he does the voice overs, but can’t be named for his protection hahaha! I slept with the TV on during the Egypt coverage. Dan Nolan and Kamahl Santamaria’s voices would wake me up. If out cold, sleeping me knows that is Dan Nolan, so does everyone else. He goes in, does a report or two and then whoosh he is out again. No idea why. This was covered so poorly by Aljazeera.
I miss Dan Nolan. I hate that he is gone and I hate that he isn’t tweeting either. I go check his twitter once in a while to see if he’s back. Funny thing, that stupid activity tab that Twitter gave us? Yeah, it outed Dan Nolan. It popped up when he followed @RealTimeWWII. So busted.. Who knew that creepy tab would have real value? 😀
The Khalid Abdalla interview on AJE. Just a whoah moment. So passionate, well spoken.. it was a moment that you stopped what your were doing and listened. Loved this.
Parazit on The Stream. I found this whole thing so funny. Was good TV too..
Sebastian Walker’s Correspondent episode on Haiti. I can’t say enough good things about this. Out of everything I have watched this year, this is the one that hit me the most. Even my oblivious sister watched it and got pissed, so it is good.
I love how passionate Sebastian is in this. This feels personal to him, and to me that is what Correspondent is; telling the story that stuck with you. I can’t believe he didn’t punch anyone in the head. And if he did.. I hope there’s video somewhere. Sebastian is somehow becoming my fave AJE person and it’s weird because he is never on.
His Twitter is very good as well, but you have to follow him, not put him on a list because he retweets more than he talks and retweets don’t show in lists.
Shouting in the Dark. This is the one documentary that most resembles what I have watched go down in Bahrain. What pisses me off is how the important stuff that Aljazeera didn’t show while it happened is in there. They knew what was going on, but they didn’t show it.
And this bullshit excuse when he later says this… ARGH what.ev.er. (for the record, the Somalia coverage from AJE has been as crappy as Yemen, Bahrain etc too. They have newsHOURS, why it has basically 15 minutes of news repeated is beyond me. Then there is the re-running of documentaries over and over. They have the time, they have the people.. report on it.)
Fault Lines on Bahrain. Yeah, we know the Adel Maymoon interview makes me laugh. The Sebastian nod.. the outlandish blindness .. did Sebastian know who he was interviewing when he went to this.. (about 8:45 in) This has kept my DMs full of jokes more than anything else that has happened all year.
This is the first thing I saw him in, somehow in only a couple of minutes he went from ‘who is this guy?’ to ‘wow, I love this guy!’
Gaddafi’s Hat One that isn’t AJE! This was the funniest, most beautiful interview.. ❤
which of course means I have to put this..
AlJazeera Cameraman killed in Libya. If there is one thing that has been quite clear this year, it is as much as we mistrust media, there are people who put their lives on the line to tell people’s stories. For that I am so grateful. I’ve ‘watched’ media get arrested, beaten, detained, killed.. I don’t have the words to describe the feeling. As much as they seem to put a brave face on it, they are people too and we can care about everyone else and you! (EVAN HILL *nudge*)
Which I guess brings me to Mo Nabbous. He isn’t a story. He was a person who popped up early in the Libya revolution. Mo haunts me. There he was the first night, telling us about all the people in front of the courthouse that we couldn’t see because the camera couldn’t show it, screaming for help, to the last night; screaming for the NATO planes to protect them, calling Libyans for people in the chat room so they’d know their friends and family were ok.. then going out to bring us the news.. to the gunshot and the silence and the not knowing.. and then the frail voice telling us Mo was gone.
He was a person, with a name, a family, friends who love him and he is gone. He is one of so many, it kills me. I haven’t been able to watch Libya, Yemen and Syria properly since Mo died. I can’t absorb it anymore. It hurts too much.
Liliane Khalil – The dangers of social media, fake people and trusting ‘media’. And Marc is so cute.. hehehe
Loved the interview with the President of Iceland. He is such a grampa dude. I want to put him in my pocket and take him home. (oddly enough I have the same feeling about Kamal Hyder. I just love him! There is something so grampa adorable about him)
The Stream – Drones. The Stream seemed to have a little too much fun with their drones.. and it has Josh Rushing. Funny for how much I disliked him when I watched Control Room, I really like him. Everyone should age as well as he has..
Bat Fungus! I have no idea why this stuck so much. It just feels important and so sad! Bats are cute, and a pretty big part of our ecological system. And come on BAT FUNGUS!!!! Yeah, this is one of the first times I noticed Imran, even though I had seen him before..
The Stream -Jesse Ventura This one was really good, too. I concentrated really, really hard this time and hardly got distracted at all by how much he sounds like Kevin from the office.
Which I think is impressive considering I had seen this a couple of times and somehow never even noticed Imran in it hahaha
This is one of the best episodes of The Stream I’ve watched. It wasn’t long enough. Some episodes you just don’t want to end.. .
Since this turned into an AJE love fest, I might as well go all the way and gush over the AJE people who stood out as well.
Evan Hill Evan was the second person from AJE I found on Twitter. Not sure exactly how I found him, he wasn’t using hashtags, but that night, I’m sure it was Jan 27, he was wandering around, live tweeting the awfulness around Tahrir. I was on the edge of my seat, scared shitless for him all night. All I kept thinking is that this guy is a crazy SOB.. He also seems to be a nice, crazy SOB. His articles are always good and his twitter is always a great source of info. He has always been number 1 for AJE on twitter to me. And yes, I freaked out the other night when he got hurt. Just because other people have it worse doesn’t mean we can’t worry about you too.. sheesh.
The moments that stuck are the things you can’t find on YouTube. The scrunching up his face when he asks hard questions, the puns he tells until his guest gives him a SMH (although it was pretty close to a facepalm), getting mesmerized by glow in the dark fish, commenting how pretty the moon is, wiggling his eyebrows about a prince marrying an Olympic swimmer, the middle of the night for him -prime time for us-when it must feel like no one is watching-mumbles and yawns (yes, we can hear you yawn, lol)
Not sure how to put it into words without it sounding insulting, but it isn’t. It’s like Kamahl has this poker face, he does the news all prim and proper (not like Adrian Finighan who makes it feel like you are on his couch and is telling you what happened in the world today, which is also awesome) then every once in a while his personality pokes through. It’s the oops smiles, the puns, the subtext you get when you follow all of Aljazeera on Twitter and you know he has no shoes on, or he’s telling jokes when the camera isn’t on him, or can’t seem to find a belt.. He is one of the funniest, most evil people I’ve met on Twitter. He makes me laugh. I don’t know anyone else who teases their followers as much as he does and then turns around and play all innocent victim when they get him back.
There was a Counting the Cost about tablets.. Sean decides that a tablet for me is a good idea and well “Kamahl says..” That shopping trip was the funniest thing that has happened all year. Then the stinker decides he needs to make a poster of Kamahl to go over my desk. I hope I am not the only person in the world who has a Kamahl poster, cus it is really weird. (I moved it to the side of my fridge now, way less creepy :/)
And since we hit the Kamahl section, this not news but happened across this one day.. makes me laugh.. Who is standing behind Gabrielle?
Azad Essa – Azad Essa’s writing impresses me each time I read anything of his. Zuma’s Bastard is already one of my favourite books. I read it for the first time in the summer. Pretty sure they smeared peanut butter or something on it because my dog ate it. It’s a keeper book, so I had to order it again. I read it again last week when I finally got through Beirut to Jerusalem by Dr Swee Chai Ang. That book was about the Sabra and Shatila massacre and was so brutal it kept giving me panic attacks and nightmares, so I needed to read something beautiful after to feel better. That would be Zuma’s Bastard. The writing is almost lyrical, for such short pieces, somehow he takes you wherever he is and you have vivid pictures of what he sees. It amazes me. It also makes me genuinely laugh, not a heh or a haha, it’s a smile all the way to my forehead and a laugh that makes me feel better.
Is it too early to whine for another book? I read what he posts on Aljazeera, but it isn’t the same as a book and it doesn’t have his thoughts at the end which are really the best part.
Imran Garda – Ok, so now we know that even though I had seen Imran over and over, it took a while for me to notice him. He is a well spoken, attractive man with a cool accent in a sea of attractive men with cool accents. Between the reports, The Stream and Twitter, his personality started to shine through. On The Stream he has the right energy for the program. (Derrick has actually got way better now too. It has gone from one of the shows I hate the most to top 3, where they really all fight for number one depending on the subject) Imran on Twitter is scathingly funny. I have this sarcastic, evil voice in my head that tells me jokes. Imran makes it laugh. A lot. I’m really glad he joined Twitter.
Anita McNaught I have a total girl crush on Anita McNaught. For some reason, her reports from the Rixos were captivating and I worried for her all the time. I have been just blown away by her all year. Her grace, class and professionalism were outstanding. Whenever she is on I stop and pay attention. She doesn’t tweet often, but her tweets are always good. There was an article about how Aljazeera doesn’t have media rockstars. I still believe wholeheartedly that this is the best thing about AJE. Everyone is so good, different reporters and newsreaders appeal to different people. There is no one stealing the thunder and making everyone else meh. Their bar is high, no one sucks. We gravitate to different people because we like them and everyone shines in their own way. We each get to have our own Anderson Cooper without the Anderson Cooper BS that drives us crazy.
Gerald Tan I don’t know what it is about some of the Gerald Tan stories, but they make me smile. They remind me of high school science class. I had the best Physics teacher in the world and for some reason these remind me of that. . I absolutely love them. I don’t know if he is officially on the Geek Beat, but that is what it feels like. I pay attention when these come up.
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Ahmed has to be the person who works twitter the most out of all the AJE people I watch. He is connecting all over the place, retweeting, having conversations. He is the person who seems to get it and is using to get the most value out of it. He knows what is going on and he is a fabulous hub. He comes across so real, so passionate about the causes that are close to him. If you are really lucky, Ahmed will flood your feed with poetry. Weirdest night: watching the world rip itself apart and Ahmed tweeting poetry all over. Was one of the best nights on twitter.
While other news agencies seem to think that their people should be link sending automatons, AJE seems to have the most plucky people I have seen. They have a point of view and they don’t seem to have any qualms about telling us what it is, yet they are professional and open when opposed (Even when they get trolled). I have to say it is immeasurable how much better it is to follow people with thoughts and feelings than it is to follow link generators promoting their own stuff.
Alan Fisher has a list of AJE people on Twitter. It is worth digging through it to find people to follow. I follow the list so I don’t lose it, but I find it much better to pepper my other lists with AJE people because the conversations I get to lurk are so incredibly interesting. This was the year I finally figured out the joy of lists. My twitter hasn’t been the same since. They are an art form!
Ok I am done now.. this took waaay too much time! But totally fun too..