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Where I live; where they live

Growing up in the West, especially the United States, can definitely cause a skewed understanding of what the Middle East is really like. The way the Middle East is depicted through the Western lens is often dramatized. In Hollywood, the Middle East is often shot through a yellow filter, where the yellow tones add to the narratives of these places being dirty, uglier or dangerous. An overwhelming majority of films involving the Middle East revolve around terrorists. In the media, stories of suffering, instability and terrorism are likely the only things to get coverage. While these all very well may be very real matters in the Middle East, it should not be the only image that exists. Just like all of the United States is not just rude New Yorkers, the Middle East is not just one place full of struggle. It is full of different and diverse countries, cultures, languages and people. Rather than relying on Hollywood or the biased media which often tend to serve as the only sources of learning, one should not let these biases cloud their judgement and should make efforts to learn more about the region. Learn from unbiased sources or others personal experiences to gain different and new perspectives.

1 reply on “Where I live; where they live”

Hi Allison!
I agree that typical media representations of the Middle East in the United States can color our perception of the region, and think it is absolutely true that they tend to be negative portrayals that are not truly representative of what the Middle East is like. I also thought it was particularly interesting how you noted the yellow filtering of the Middle East in movies, which is definitely something I had noticed but never truly examined the effect the filter was having on my perception of the place being filmed. I do agree that perhaps the best way to reconcile the perception of the Middle East that the media gives us and the reality of how it truly is (aside from traveling there) is to ensure that you are learning about it from unbiased sources, and also think it may be enlightening to make an effort to read about the Middle East from sources that are located there, rather than in the United States or Europe, as you noted that Western media sources often focus far more on negative stories and dramatized portrayals than they do on others from the Middle East.

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