Amwaj.media: On the region, from the region
This is just a website. But Amwaj.media is also more than just a website. Our mission is to offer unparalleled coverage of Iran, Iraq and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
To achieve this, our team of area experts first sought to better understand the shortcomings of the mainstream media in covering the region. Each of us is experienced in our field, but to truly grasp what is missing in the coverage, we had to get raw input. So in the fall of 2020, we interviewed dozens of prominent analysts, reporters, think tankers and policymakers—from the region, and beyond.
What we learned from these conversations was eye opening. The current media coverage of the region—whether Arab, Iranian or Western—is broadly considered to be limited in the range of perspectives it features. Many interviewees said mainstream media is also losing the race to utilize new storytelling tools, including those that enable data-driven reporting.
Importantly, the language barrier was repeatedly brought up as a profound obstacle to better coverage of the region. This was not a major surprise—but its dimensions were notable. This finding clarified that there are not only obstacles between the region and the West, but also within the region, too. These barriers have no less of a negative impact on perceptions and attitudes.
Confronting these complex challenges is not an easy task. Fortunately, we have found that this multi-dimensional puzzle can be solved, but only through a multi-pronged approach.
As such, in terms of content, Amwaj.media offers innovative Media Monitoring, which features our take on what can be read between the lines, along with trends to keep an eye on. We publish News, Opinion and Analysis from our network of contributors, breaking down the most pressing topics of the day and providing original insight into the stories that don’t necessarily make it to the headlines. Through our Debate section, we offer a long overdue platform for inclusive engagement. Fast Forward is our weekly take on selected trends and stories of the week.
Importantly, Amwaj.media takes direct aim at the language barrier by publishing all content in Arabic, English and Persian. Going one step further, our unique language swiping capability gives all readers seamless access to content in all three languages—offering our contributors a greater audience, and for our multilingual readership, a new level of depth.
Amwaj.media is also novel in its embrace of new technologies to offer a different way of reading news. Designed for readers on the go, we provide condensed versions of our full-length Articles via our ‘Bottom Line’ feature. We also display in-house data visualizations on our main page, showcasing our commitment to injecting more quantitative research into the conversation.
Amwaj.media is based in the UK but our bustling newsroom is chiefly made up of journalists and analysts from across the region. Founded in January 2021, Amwaj.media is independently funded and operates as a service provider. The Editor is Mr. Mohammad Ali Shabani, who is also a researcher at SOAS University of London. We prioritize the safety and security of our team while considering our output as the result of a team effort. We have therefore chosen to anonymize most of our team’s own output.
Amwaj.media aims to be the primary portal of News, Opinion and Analysis on the region, from the region. We are at the beginning of a long journey. Please join us on the ride.