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Al Jazeera

"President Mubarak of Egypt was on an official visit to Qatar and asked to be shown the network [the fiestily independent Arab television network, Al Jazeera]," an Iraqi employee once recalled. "He arrived unannounced and at first the guys on the gate didn't recognize him. When he finally got inside, he was appalled at how small we were. 'So this,' he said, 'is the tiny tinderbox that started such a big fire.'"

["Whatever we do, people say, 'Why are you doing this now?'" Al Jazeera's Ali Mohammed Kamal once remarked of Arabic culture of suspicion and paranoia. "They even said it when we did a story on the history of the Lebanese civil war. And when we ran a video of one of the 9/11 hijackers reading his own will before embarking on the attack, we were accused of distracting attentino from the

[Israeli] siege on Arafat's compound. [pause] But Arafat's compound is always under siege. For us, the news is the news."]

[Ironically, Al Jazeera's most successful advertising campaign ("If Everyone Watches CNN, What Does CNN Watch?") was executed by the Beirut office of Saatchi & Saatchi -- a consortium founded by Baghdad Jews.]

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