January 23rd, 2009
Oprah in the Middle East

The introduction of satellite television in the late 1990s has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern society. Until then, state-run programming was about the only option for most people in the region. Today, viewers in the Arab world can watch anything from Al Jazeera to The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah now reaches over 6 million viewers in the Arab world each day, bringing conversations about domestic violence or homosexuality to living rooms where these subjects are still taboo. This video from WNET’s Worldfocus explores “the Oprah effect,” showing how Oprah is opening minds and connecting Arab women to the wider world.

Read a more about “the Oprah effect” from Worldfocus, or watch a preview of WIDE ANGLE’s Dishing Democracy, filmed on the set of Egypt’s KALAM NAWAEM, a home-grown talk show featuring four Middle-Eastern women who foment social change in the region by discussing controversial subjects on satellite television.

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