Believing the News

“What’s the biggest difference between here and Egypt?”, a friend asked me when I moved to the USA, (North Carolina) a long time ago. She expected some sob story about the plight of women, who need to be rescued from male oppressors by enlightened western minds. I could see the disbelief and disappointment on her face when I answered without any hesitation: “You guys believe the news!”.
“What do you mean?”, she said.
“In Egypt, everyone knows that the news is biased. So, we don’t believe it’s the truth or at best, we take it with a grain of salt. Whereas here, (in the USA) people trust the media blindly and actually believe the news”.
I continued: “We even have a phrase: ‘kalam garayed’ (newspaper talk) to describe things that are over exaggerated, inflated or dramatized. It’s a polite (aka covert) way to say ‘it’s a lie.’
There maybe some whiff of truth in it but it’s mostly serving the purpose of the people controlling the reporting; Advancing a certain agenda, selling ads, maximum number of eye balls, spreading strong memes (fear being the strongest) or simply seen from a certain bias because, after all, we’re all human.
At best, you have the same agenda or point of view as the news source so it matches your reality… until it doesn’t. At worst, you’re being manipulated and brainwashed. We’ve all been on both sides.”
My friend still had that disbelief/disappointment look on her face and said: “But what about the status of women?”.
I asked: “What about the status of women?”.
She replied: “Isn’t it horrible to be a woman in Egypt?”.
I said: “You do believe the news, don’t you?”.

#media #news #fearculture #egypt #usa #trust #travel #women

The young woman and the Sea…
The wave maker…
In my natural habitat…

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