As soon as the news broke about the twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, Alhurra went live with seven hours of continuous coverage. The network immediately dispatched a correspondent to Boston to cover the story from the ground. In addition to the news from Boston, Alhurra provided reaction from the Middle East via social media as people across the region expressed their solidarity with the people in Boston.
Alhurra also interviewed Arab-Americans who were at the race including a Moroccan-American who noted that one of the marathon runners was from Morocco. A Jordanian-American who was at the marathon said, “We denounce what happened…we do not want to repeat it again anywhere in the world. Our hearts and solidarity go to those who have been impacted.” An Arab-American professor who was interviewed commented, “What happened was so ugly, we were so stressed about people who were injured and very sad for people who were killed. While the Americans were praying for Boston, Arabs were writing (on social media) about how they can help.”
Reaction from the region was swift and supportive. In an interview with Alhurra, a representative from the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo expressed unity with the United States. The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal, who was visiting Washington, stated on Alhurra that Saudi Arabia supports and gives their condolences to the families of Boston. He went on to say that Boston is considered one of the homes of Saudis. Hundreds of Saudi students attend school in Boston. The network’s daily talk show was dedicated to the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
MBN’s digital platforms provided the latest updates on Alhurra.com and RadioSawa.com as well as through Facebook and Twitter. The online platforms provided continuous updates to the story as well as incorporating social media into the reports.
In addition to its continuing coverage, Radio Sawa had reaction from Americans, condemning the violence, as well as interviews with Nihad Awad, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Robert Danin, from the Council on Foreign Relations.