Alhurra Television was visited by a group of 13 Foreign Service Officers who will be assigned to embassies and consulates in Jordan, Jerusalem, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq. The diplomats are studying at the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Arabic Language and Cultural Studies and will be heading to the region this summer. They visited to Alhurra to learn more about U.S. international broadcasting to the Middle East and to take advantage of the opportunity to converse in Arabic with native speakers. Following a tour of Alhurra, the group met with MBN Vice President Daniel Nassif and Alhurra Senior News Producer Bashar Jarrar. They discussed the relationship between the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Alhurra; as well as Alhurra’s mission. Nassif talked about Alhurra’s team of correspondents across the region and the editorial process of reporting on stories. Jarrar also addressed the need for Alhurra’s objectivity in the media environment. He used the example of coverage of sexual harassment in Egypt and how some other media outlets are using reports of sexual harassment as a way to deter protesters in Cairo.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the Federal Government’s primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. At the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center and through its online, distance learning offerings, the FSI provides almost 1,000 courses —to more than 100,000 enrollees a year from the State Department and more than 40 other government agencies and the military service branches.