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  • Conservative cool: visual culture and Middle Eastern youth
  • No sex and these cities: the film was banned in the UAE
    HBO Films (2010) ©

Conservative cool: visual culture and Middle Eastern youth

Middle Eastern youth are torn between cultural extremes. Respectful of their conservative elders, but yearning for 'cool' Western culture.

Location North America / Western Asia

The media in conservative governments in the Middle East were traditionally controlled by centralized governments whose remit was largely to 'direct' the population. With technological advances and an influx of global media that is becoming more difficult, and they are increasingly forced to relinquish control.

Western discourse sees this as a positive development, a sign of liberation, democratization and freedom which empowers the region’s youth. Leading figures in the Middle East see it as al-ghazw ath-thaqafi or corrupting ‘cultural invasion’. (1)

With nearly 50% of the Middle East under the age of 25 (2), these ...