[EN] Video Transcript

Our exploration in this unit delves into the proportions observed in respondent responses to the question, “What is your level of interest in news and information from other regions?”

The areas of interest were classified under five headings; according to Paul Gillespie, different rankings on both shores of the Mediterranean are shown. Europeans show a higher level of interest for each of the categories, except sports activities that turns out to be of much greater interest to southern and eastern Mediterranean respondents.

Cultural life and lifestyle: 81% and 65%

Political situation: 73% and 58%

Economic conditions: 76% and 62%

Religious beliefs and practices: 60% and 46%

Sports activities: 46% and 61%

Looking at Alexandra Büchler’s keen observation on the trends of mutual interest across the region, compared to previous polls, “…[t]here is a growing ‘appetite for mutual knowledge’….[what will help meet this demand is not a ‘top down vision’, but a sense of ownership of the common space and of the policies affecting it”. Considering whether direct cultural experience and interaction contribute to a positive change in mutual perceptions and understanding, Büchler emphasized the role of civil society in fueling social change.

Femke De Keulenaer points out that some of the highest levels of interest in news and information about people in other countries were observed among European respondents who have friends or relatives in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. By way of example, 34% of Europeans in this group were interested in news and information about the political situation in those countries. Conversely, only 25% of European respondents without friends or relatives in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries expressed interest in their news and information.

Rima Marrouch studies the ratio of human curiosity about people’s lives on the other shores of the Mediterranean through the use of videos on social media, which is considered to be the trending king. She brings up the example of one of the most-viewed videos on the BBC Arabic Facebook page in May 2017 about a young man producing small cars in Egypt with 9530 views in two weeks. She points out that this type of cultural and lifestyle story can be correlated with the Survey results and can generate a large amount of interest on both shores of the Mediterranean.