I remember the first gulf war vividly a decade ago. I used to sit with my family in our house whenever the loud sirens went off in the eastern province in Saudi. The house, and indeed the entire city of Khobar, would shake whenever patriots were fired. Our house was located 10 kilometers away from the civilian airport transformed into a temporary military airbase for the operations. We thought the explosions were scuds hitting their targets, it was not, it was patriots being launched. After I got used to the loud noises, I ventured into the roof one day whenever the sirens went off, and would watch the patriots being launched at incredible speed, at the expense of my concerned parents who would yell at me to come down, or else a missle would fall on top of my head. I was around 6th grade at the time. We used to get all our news from western sources, mainly CNN.

A decade later, living in the UAE for my higher education, things are different mediawise now. Many Arabs distrust western media for the war coverage, since they perceive it as mouth pieces for the pentagon. I've compared and contrasted western news outlets and Middle Eastern news outlets for the war coverage, and so far Middle Eastern news outlets provide deeper and broader coverage than any western news outlet. One of the most elite channels are located in the gulf region, namely Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV, and the newly launched Al Arabiya TV, want to be rival to Al Jazeera. Al Arabiya is Saudi funded and has its HQ in the UAE. I saw Al Arabiya office building in Dubai media city in the past while I was crusing and exploring the city. Next to it was a building with Rueters sign on it, and another one had CNN sign on it.

I don't have TV since I live in dorms. I never really liked watching TV since I believe it can rot your brains. We have a common room in the dorms with a 50 inch TV, the students always have Al Jazeera or Abu Dhabi TV on whenever they want to know what is going on in the war. Occasionally, they would switch to CNN or FOX, watch it for 5 minutes, get disgusted or unsatisfied with the shallow reporting and then switch back to Al Jazeera or Abu Dhabi. This case is true in many Middle Eastern countries.

I've been trying to access Al Jazeera Arabic and temporary English web site, but can't, due to the report that it is under heavy DoS attack for days now.