ABOUT THE AMBITIOUS STRUGGLE
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The book includes many anecdotes about my work as a journalist in Dubai. Many readers might be unfamiliar with how the media operate in one of the world’s most progressive and economically developed nations. There are many similarities to mainstream media in other parts of the world but there also are some unique elements which emphasize just how precarious, fragile, and delicate the media’s professional commitments and ethics are amid the omnipresent shadows of press censorship and the opaque nature of official spokespersons who aggressively protect Dubai’s intricately constructed status quo. These tensions are most frequently observed in the day-to-day coverage of crime, business, public meetings and other routine events that constitute the bread-and-butter of local media throughout the world. Some of the most illuminating insights come from stories about immigrants, signaling themes that easily could apply to similar stories in virtually any other part of the world. In summary, the book explores many topics – how the coverage of crime and police matters, public health concerns (e.g., HIV and AIDS), racism and racial profiling, governmental accountability, corporate responsibility in accidents, and other reporting beats proceeds against a backdrop of tensions that pit an enlightened cosmopolitanism against the strict cultural, social, and religious mores closely associated with the region.
The book also seeks to cover several potentially dynamic market emphases that have become more visible recently among diverse groups of readers. One includes journalists and students who are morally courageous Muslim professionals and leaders advocating for press freedom and who are committed to challenging the limitations of political correctness, intellectual conformity, and censorship. Another focuses on immigration, ethnic and racial diversity, and multiculturalism in building responsible democracies. This is significant as an informative counterpoint to some mainstream media portrayals of the Muslim faith and its religious practices. Yet another focuses on Ugandan culture and the importance of education in breaking through difficult barriers preventing individuals from achieving economic mobility. Meanwhile, the book is ideal for others looking for different views other than Western media regarding the politics of Uganda and the long dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. Finally, and equally if not more significant is the book’s entry into a growing market of nonfiction releases dealing with Dubai, especially those manuscripts which challenge the widely popularized perceptions of the cosmopolitan utopia in Dubai and its neighboring emirates.
ABOUT YASIN KAKANDE
A native of Uganda, Yasin Kakande has been a Middle East journalist for nearly a decade. He currently works for the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper as the correspondent for the northern Emirates. He also has worked as a news producer for City 7 TV in Dubai, a features writer for the Khaleej Times, and as a reporter and assistant editor for the Bahrain Tribune.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a master of business administration degree in marketing from the United Arab Emirates branch of the U.S.-based Preston University. He is fluent in English, Arabic, Swahili, and French.