Dec 11, 2006

AlJazeera on Gramin's Nobel Prize

Aljazeera LOVES controversy!
The way they presented today's news item about Mohammad Yunus's nobel prize (founder of the Gramin bank) was so weird.

1- They were asking the question "why Mohammad Yunus?". They interviewed a Bangladeshi reporter saying that there are many pioneers in poor community banking field in Bangladesh. He said that Yunus won because he makes the most noise and pays a lot of attention to foreign relations and the public image.

2- The Aljazeera anchor asked an Egyptian expert with these words "How come he won a Nobel prize by giving few dollars to few poor people?"

3- The Egyptian expert said that Mohammad Yunus was not a pioneer, and that Egyptians have pioneered micro-loans in the 1950s from the Nahhas-Pasha days.

4- The Egyptian expert said that Gramin became famous because they gave loans to women who were able to make goods that ended up being exported to foreign countries. Otherwise, it's not that special.

5- They interviewed Mohammad Yunus... BUT, out of the whole interview, they showed ONLY ONE SENTENCE. This is how they presented it:
"In the 3rd largest muslim country in the world, Mohammad Yuus chose to create a bank that is based on Interest. Mohammad Yunus: Islam does not say explicitly that Interest as a whole is Haram; it's a controversial issue and many scholars say that some of it is halal."

6- They also said that the "televised happy reception of Yunus by the poor residents at one of the villages" is "most likely a well-orchestrated PR show"

7- They ended the report by asking "Is Mohammad Yunus using the Gramin conglomerate's reputation and influence to run for presidency?"

That was it!

ya akhi... some times, I just wonder how these Aljazeera people think. Why to present the story in such a manner!?
Even if there are question marks about this guy's Nobel Prize, present a balanced story, present the apparent positive light of it (A MUSLIM GUY winning a Nobel Prize for work in a Muslim Country!! this is huge), and THEN, present the doubts and the questions.



  1. You noticed that too? I paid attention the minute he said "Few dollars" to Few people ... and I immediately took note that, something is wrong about this report.
    Do you think Al Jazeera knows something we don't? I doubt they would keep anything they know a secret.
    Anyway, Aljazeera, or no Aljazeera, the guy won the prize, if we see the list of finalists we'll probably admire the work even more.

  2. Being a bangladeshi myself I can say this much for sure that Grameen loans made a huge difference. We have many Islamic banks in Bangladesh but none of them took the initiatives to help the poor villagers, Dr. Younus did. He is a very humble person and is not after money or presidency here.