When I linked to the AP story on the use of Bluetooth technology few days ago, I did not think that Saudi media would pay attention to it, because we often read similar stories in the Western media, and as I said, the story told nothing new.
However, today, I read this story in the printed edition of al-Hayat newspaper, which reports the reaction of some Saudis to the AP story. All the people interviewed criticized the American media because they think it misrepresents Saudis, and gives the wrong image about them. “The officials of the United States are responsible for the media errors on the government and people Saudi Arabia,” Saud Salim, a webmaster who graduated from an American university, said.
He blames the American Department of State in particular, for what he called “double scales.” Huh? He blames the American government, while he, in the same time, admits that American media is “free.” I think this is weird.
“The reporter does not indicate that people like Reem -if he actually had met her- exists in other countries, including his own country,” So’ad Abdul-Aziz, a university student, said. I don’t understand. The story was about Saudi Arabia. Why would the reporter ever consider mentioning other countries? This student does not seem to believe that the reporter has talked to a girl called Reem, and she doubts the reporter’s intentions.
The story refers to the AP reporter as a man, while the reporter is actually a woman, and her last name suggests that she comes from an Arabic origin.
Manal Mohammed thinks the American media represents Saudis with extreme inferiority, includes many misconceptions, and generalizes some individual’s acts about a whole society. She says the likes of Reem and Abdullah exist, but thinks they are a minority. “How many are they? 1000? 2000? Or even 100,000? The population of Saudi Arabia is about 20m, and this report tries to give the impression that all the 20m are like Reem and Abdullah,” she said.
I’m not in a position where I can make a statement about how many people out there who are like Reem and Abdullah, because that would also be a generalization. I don’t even use Bluetooth, because my phone is not equipped with this technology. But I reread the story, and I could not get the attempt to give that certain impression she was talking about. What about you? Have any of you got that impression? Do you think that American media is biased when it comes to Saudi Arabia? Or let me be more specific: Do you think this story was unfair to Saudis?