Sunday, November 18, 2007

MTV Arabia

I just read about MTV expanding into the Middle East with it’s own Arabic Music Channel. This is great news!

I was in Beirut, Lebanon with MTV in the nineties as MTV Europe launched there. It is one of my best memories as an MTV Veejay. I absolutely fell in love with this vibrant, fun-loving place. As a matter of fact, if it hadn’t been for it’s unstable nature (which is a sad reality), I would have wanted to move there when we left London six years ago. But instead we settled on Belize, Central America.

Anyway…I think that MTV can play a major part in the blending of Eastern and Western society, by joining young people all over the world through music. I think it managed to do that better when it was all still ‘one MTV’ (MTV Europe) & the channel was kind of forced to play music that would appeal to all the different territories & cover news stories from all the territories. But even so, this new Arabic MTV can give the young generation in the Middle East it’s own voice and may be able to help artists from one Arabic country to cross over to other Arabic countries. Music is such a great way to bring people together.

Back in my MTV days we attended Peace Rallies in Israel and Lebanon & we saw that most young people just want to live in peace. They want to go out, have fun, listen to music, dress up nice, meet with their friends, etc, all the normal stuff that everyone wants. They often were telling us that the wars they were forced to fight were the wars of their fathers. So if we want peace in the Middle East we can start by bringing it’s young people together. Make them feel more connected to each other, regardless of which country they were born in.

You know, this kind of stuff was always most important to me. In my 8 years at MTV I often felt like I wasn’t contributing anything to society. But finding ways to give young people a voice where they hadn’t had one before, like when the Soviet Union crumbled and the East joined the West in Europe, those moments made me proud of what I did. I felt that, in my own little way, I was contributing to bringing young people together. And I am still proud and thankful for that opportunity.

So peace! May MTV be with you!

Partying in Beirut. Fun, fun, fun!!!