Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Riz Khan talks to Thomas Friedman

Today Thomas Friedman talked to Riz Khan on Aljazeera English about his new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded. (Note: the link sends you to part two which is actually the beginning of the interview, then go here, and then here to follow it in order.) Thomas Friedman is my favorite columnist. His columns appear regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays in the New York Times. I don't know many columnists but I was impressed by him from the very start when his columns used to appear in the Baltimore Sun like 5 years ago.

I have many criticsms of Al Jazeera but I like Riz Khan. He's a terrific journalist and I would probably not watch Al Jazeera English (youtube channel) if he wasn't there.

Now lets talk about Friedman's book(s) and how it is related to middle east peace. I believe that engagement of debate and conversation between Israelis and Arabs is one of the keys to Middle East peace. And Friedman's book is about how the world is "Flat", how the obstacles for people to communicate and work with each other have greatly diminished. What he means (he makes the following point in the interview) is that he, an American Jew, can talk to Khan, who works for an Arab news network, and get a call from Avraham Burg, who is a former speaker of the Knessest and former head of the Jewish Agency, all on Al Jazeera, thanks to the innovation of information technology.

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