2009 started out with a bang. Unfortunately, the bang was the sound of explosions in Gaza as the Israeli air force and artillery relentlessly bombarded several sites in the Gaza strip in order to stop the launching of Hamas Qassam rockets. On January 3rd, Israel launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip catapulting the Gaza War into its second week.
On the other side of the globe, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th and first African American President of the United States. His inauguration speech was viewed by billions across the globe; including those who live in the Arab & Muslim worlds. In an effort to reach out to those in the region, the newly elected president opted to grant his first official interview to an Arab television network: Al Arabiya TV. He also addressed 1.5 billion Muslims from the podium of Cairo University.
Meanwhile, another election brought turmoil to the Middle East.
On June 12, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected as the president of Iran. During the following weeks, supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi protested the results. The resultant violence is said to be the worst seen in Iran since the Iranian revolution of 1979. The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, was captured on what quickly became a viral video, turning Neda into an international symbol of the civil unrest following the presidential election.
The year 2009… From the war in Gaza to the election in Iran, how did Arab, Israeli and Iranian media cover the news?
Join me in this Mosaic 2009 Special: Connecting the Dots in the Middle East.