Just wanted to link to the article earlier this week in which a NY Times reporter used my case as a foil to examine the issue of teaching free expression in the Gulf Arab States. Here’s the lede:
DOHA, QATAR — When Matt J. Duffy first got a job teaching journalism at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi in 2010, he was thrilled.
Besides teaching courses in storytelling, journalistic ethics, and media regulation at Zayed, Dr. Duffy, an enthusiastic blogger, became a frequent contributor to Gulf News, a Dubai newspaper. He also was chairman of a conference on the role of the media in the Arab Spring, started a student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and organized campus celebrations of World Press Freedom Day last May.
Three months later, he was expelled from the United Arab Emirates without any explanation.
In Doha, the capital of the neighboring Gulf state of Qatar, students at Northwestern University’s campus there were discussing recently the relevance of the admonition by the investigative journalist I.F. Stone that “all governments lie” to a society whose leaders seldom feel the need to explain their actions. The classroom debate was as spirited and irreverent as it might be on any U.S. campus, and the students — a mix of Qataris, Gulf-based expatriates and foreigners — seemed adept at negotiating the contradictions between the uninhibited reporting on Al Jazeera, a network based in Doha and funded by the local government, and the fact that as one student put it, “If they don’t like what you say here, they can deport you.”
Yep, that about sums it up. The article goes on to explore different aspects of education and journalism in the Gulf and includes quotes from a couple of well-respected deans of journalism schools, including the one at Northwestern-Qatar. Sounds like academics at his university have a little more freedom to address “sensitive” subjects.
I’ve written an article for “Arab Media and Society” that explores this issue a little more. I believe that will be the final nail in the coffin.