Mosaic: World News from the Middle East


Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and was launched in 1996. It broadcasts throughout the Middle East and reaches much of the rest of the world. Initially funded by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Al Jazeera maintains that it is an independent network free from government control and censorship, "offering its audiences in the Arab world much needed freedom of thought, independence, and room for debate."


Today, with more than 30 bureaus and dozens of correspondents providing worldwide coverage, it is considered one of the most important and trusted news sources in the Middle East. Through 24 hour news coverage and a variety of political talk shows, Al Jazeera's programming emphasizes issues of Arab concern such as the Palestinian / Israeli conflict and the war in Iraq.


One of the most popular shows on Al Jazeera is The Opposite Direction, a talk show hosted by Faisal Al Qasim, a Syrian presenter who invites guests with opposing ideologies to debate their views on air. He also invites home viewers to call in and give their opinions or questions.


English web site:

Al Jazeera
P. O. Box 23123
Doha, Qatar
Telephone: +974 4885 666
Fax: +974 4885 333





Total Area:
 11,437 sq km
 slightly smaller than Connecticut
Government Type:
 Traditional monarchy, led by Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani,
 Qatari rial (QAR)
 Muslim 95%
 Arabic (official)
 English commonly used as a second language
Legal System:
 Discretionary system of law controlled by the Amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters
 18 years of age; universal