Media and the World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2009 in Jordan

Yesterday saw the end of the World Economic Forum’s meeting on the Middle East, held on the banks of the dead sea in Jordan. A range of panel discussions took place, and you can find reports on ‘Sustainability in the Middle East, Middle East E-Living‘ and ‘Closing the food gap among them.

If you really want, you can also see photos from Flickr of the conference.

There was also a panel discussion on ‘Race for an Audience: Media in the Middle East‘, the (hour and a half long) video of which can be seen here (sorry, embedding didn’t work).

By the end of the forum, the participants challenged themselves in two areas, as the Dubai Chronicle reports:

Energy – increase conservation; develop alternative energies; and utilize smart grids.

Youth – with 65% of the Arab world’s population under the age of 25, the region must develop this bulge by “providing them with education and developing, retaining and attracting talent,” said Samir Brikho, Chief Executive Officer, Amec, United Kingdom, and Co-Chair of the meeting.

For a critical opinon of the World Economic Forum, see ‘Leftist Youth’ writing at 7iber.com, a Jordanian website for young citizen journalists.

Unfortunately, there was little talk of micro-payment projects or, beyond the above discussion which is well worth watching, much discussion of the role of the media in the Middle East. Obviously the World Economic Forum can be expected to have other things on it’s mind – petrodollars and the wider recession – but press freedom and a focus on developing the Middle East (where there is still widespread poverty) are issues worthy of greater, more expansive debate.

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