***Yassine, in the featured image, interned at Arab Millennial as a graduate in 2017 and now holds a managerial position in France***
Among the many values that have led to the creation of the internet and social media we find the power to inquire and express one’s opinion. Arab Millennial is born from freedom of expression and freedom of information and does its part to encourage the whole world to communicate in unison.
The flow of information in which we are today is so dense and intense that it often becomes impossible to understand the society around us in a impartial and clear manner. What I like about Arab Millennial is that I see the website as a sort-of book of history and civilisation of the Arab world. Almost like an online Arab record or archive. AM puts our chaotic lives in order and perspective and highlights the birth of the Arab world and its languages which have spread. It clearly depicts the many Arab cultures which have taken different forms in the various communities where global Arab diaspora live. It also allows non-Arabs who have basic knowledge of the Arab world to expand their minds and learn more about their colleagues and neighbours who grew up in a more Arabic culture.
As a French-born Moroccan, one of the elements that pushed me to participate in Arab Millennial was its contribution to the change of our information culture. Most of the major news channels are owned by private companies. In the USA, 6 corporations control 90% of the media. However, with the growth of grassroots news outlets, their market share will inevitably reduce and hence Arab Millennial can begin to challenge more Eurocentric depictions of Arab society.
Furthermore, information outlets have not only moral objectives but also financial objectives. These two objectives rarely compliment each other. This conflict of interest helps us understand the demise of elements of the Arab world. News outlets tend to sensationalise terror attacks to make sales in almost a fictional or romantic manner, thereby compromising the quality of information that policy-makers have at their disposal when addressing Arab world issues.
By contrast, Arab Millennial relies on its authentic content on Arab world history, society, politics and religion to generate its revenues. AM is also playing a civic role in the debate surrounding the use of financial exploitation by political extremists in the Arab world, for example in its participation in European Council of Foreign Relations discussions on policy-making in Yemen.
Most Arab information outlets have an “activist” identity. However, by giving a voice to Arabs in more established and exclusive political circles, Arab Millennial brings grassroots testimonials and arguments that come to show a more human image and closeness to more influential cultural circles.
AM also allowed me to keep myself more informed, and to understand the real financial and diplomatic dynamics behind questionable decisions made by Arab and non-Arab governments. It also helped me improve my writing abilities through, for example, explaining the reason behind its editorial decisions during staff meetings. Overall, Arab Millennial has enabled me to acquire tools to present indisputable facts in a more engaging and convincing language sensitive to diverse cultural attitudes.