Thursday, July 24, 2008


Hala seems to be a graduate of the Lycee Rochambeau in Washington, D.C. and hosted their fund-raising auction in 2008.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008



PETRA -- CNN concluded a week-long series dedicated to the Middle East with an unprecedented event on Friday night -- a live international broadcast from the ancient Nabataean city of Petra. The event was part of an hour-long special daily report live from Beirut by CNN International anchor Jim Clancy, and cohosted from Petra by Hala Gorani.

"We wanted something really spectacular," said Eye on the Middle East Amman producer Shems El Wazer. "For us, this has been a monumental challenge." The network began planning the Petra broadcast in October with a survey of the archaeological site. The most important step was to see if such an event was feasible. Because of the steep rock formations near the Treasury, from where Gorani presented the show, the best satellite signal could only be found in a clearing 1.2km away.

The engineering crew first needed a fiberoptic cable long enough to transmit the live feed, and then had to hope that nothing happens to it; such cables are easily damaged, and the area has a lot of tourist traffic, including horse carriages, donkeys, and on this day, trucks, all of which had a hard time seeing the thin grey cable among the dirt and sand.

The setup also included 900 yards of audio cables, 300 yards of video cables, a wireless camera, and lights to illuminate the 45 metre tall Treasury.

The crew started work at 6:30am on the day of recording and didn't leave for 14 hours. The equipment was brought through the winding and bumpy roads, sharp turns, and often steep climbs to reach the heart of the ancient site by horse-drawn carriage and van.

A special two-metre-high platform had to be built in Amman and then taken by truck to Petra. Without the stage, the shot would have excluded the upper half of the Treasury -- the focal point of the event.

Another logistical challenge was getting the government to approve the event. According to Jordan Tourism Board Managing Director Mazan Homoud, the Ministry of Tourism surveyed the site to assess possible environmental consequences, especially by allowing vehicles onto the site. The stage, satellites, and volume of equipment meant that the trucks had to drive right up to the Treasury.

With one of the lights to illuminate the Treasury not working, and the constant drone of generators in the background, the show nevertheless went ahead with no major problems.

"It is a privilege to anchor five live hours of news from this region," Hala Gorani told The Jordan Times. Gorani, whose parents are Syrian, grew up in the US and France -- but said she would like to continue working in the region. She said that growing up with multiple cultural influences is an asset that has made her more attuned to the subtleties of the region.

"Eye on the Middle East," like CNN International's monthly "Inside the Middle East," set out to go beyond the breaking news and into the social and cultural landscape of the region. The week of special programming on the region included live news shows and special features from Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan and Morocco.

The events are part of CNN's 25th anniversary celebrations. Earlier last week, the Amman production team relayed live reports from the Citadel, Abdoun Circle, Kan Zaman restaurant and the University of Jordan.

"It is absolutely breathtaking. You know, this is not a sight you can ready yourself for with pictures or any kind of footage..." Gorani said during Friday night's programme. "It's grander than you expect."

Victoria Macchi, Jordan Times, November 28, 2005

Monday, July 7, 2008


Richard got a mail from MisterMartin.
In his email, MisterMartin wrote:
Hi Richard,
As you may have noticed, there is some trouble with the domain name. In the mean time, you may access it via: you could pass this on to people you know I would appreciate it. I have very limited access to Internet, so I hope it will be resolved tomorrow.
Much thanks to Thot for posting this.


In response to Aliona's comment, I don't know why .org has been down for the past four days. It's been down before - but never this long.

So, altho I had some comments about programming over the weekend, (like what programming idiot put the pathetic, out of his league Reggie Aqui on CNNI as an ANCHOR? He was terrible as a reporter for a local Houston TV station and certainly is NOT at all qualified anchor material for International. Keep him confined to that second rate newscast. And ITME. Paula Newton is certainly a step up from last month's wooden host, but it's just not the same without Gorani's writing and eye and presentation. And sorry Arwa, but I think they previously did a story on that hospital) what brought me to the blog to make a comment was today's YWT. Or lack there of.

Is it not one of the most stupid, inane things CNNI has pulled lately - putting on a special with the pandering, brown-nosing hypocritical Dr. Guppy instead of airing Your World Today? Who has taken over CNN International and is trying to turn it into the special interests channel that CNN/US has become? Sorry, idiot programmers, but a special is NOT NEWS. Confine the reruns to the weekends, where you have already made it clear news is no longer a priority by prostituting out air time showing endless reruns of sponsored shows. World News? Does it still matter to you? People actually watch CNNI for content - not as another outlet for your supposed American "stars" egos.