27 April 2010

The Arab Web Banner

I hate web banners and online ads. I think they are intrusive and disrupt my online experience.

But that's not the point. The point is, while reading about the various benefits of probiotics and their effect on my high uric acid, I came across this.. this shock of an ad:

Ignore the copy - it's weak and doesn't make sense. The image is what's absolutely appalling. What does this say about Arabs? Well:
  • They love money. Lots of money. Cash money.
  • It's every Arab man's dream to have lots of cash. US dollars.
  • They are dumb and naïve, easily seduced by money.
  • That Arabs and South Asians are interchangeable (the man obviously looks Indian).
  • Put any piece of cloth on a brown man's head, tie rope around it, and, voila! You have an Arab.

The placement of the ad is very dumb as well. Did UFX really believe that any Arab would identify with this deformed, Jewish-influenced Hollywoodian stereotype of him?

Or have Arabs started to embody this stereotypical image and believe it does represent them? How successful has Hollywood become?

The most bizarre part is that when you click on the banner (I did out of curiosity, wondering if I'll find more deformed images), you will find a completely different image of a modern-looking young Arab with the glamorous Dubai skyline behind him.



nadine said...

Very well said Amal..i agree with u on this one!!!

Manaf said...

unforunately this not the only ad with such a degrading message. and with the internet spreading such ads to a practically unlimited numbers for users i don't see how we can improve our image. even now in the year 2010 many of the american TV shows, which aren't even good, that we happily play on our local channels still present arabs in the same image. filthy rich men who'd anything to get more women and more money. i don't see why we should get offended by them while at the same time using the same stereotype ourselves. Of course, when you see an ad like this being published it makes you wonder how corrupted our image is in our own minds.

aMaL said...

Nadine, thanks for your note :)

Manaf, if we do actually think of ourselves as such then it is because of the image they portray of us. They do the same to all other nations (take Native American, Asians, Mexicans and Africans as the biggest example). This is cultural demolition, supported by the so-called campaign for "Globalism" - Americanism.

What we can do is take a step back and study how we have allowed this filthy machine to affect us. From there we can start restoring or confidence and building it accordingly. Once we do that we will be able to enforce an accurate image of ourselves and gain respect for it accordingly.

Takes time, but I bet it can work. We just need to start with ourselves.

JooJ said...

I see offensive images of arabs all the time when i look for stock images. That one is one of them and another one is a "terrorist" one. it's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you picked this ad up because it infuriated me when I first saw it. As you know, being a copywriter, I really wanted to contact the advertiser and tell them to pull it out! The copy so infuriated me that I actually didn't even look at the image until you pointed it out!

Khaled Almalki