twofour54 – on the grill

To those everyday travelers across Salam street then Qarm street in Abu Dhabi, the strange looking building with the colorful circles splashed all over it is not a mystery. The infamous  twofour54 (which I thought was a hotel, then a restaurant, then I settled for an advertisement agency) but it was actually a (just give me a second while I Google it again) Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority. It’s a funky authority and we like its overall theme, but one thing we didn’t like, was its grief-stricken managerial structure.

We dug a little about this company, and their mission was loud and clear and sadly unrecognizably-very-nationally-critical , and I quote:

twofour54’s vision is to enable the development of world class Arabic media and entertainment content, by Arabs for Arabs, and to position Abu Dhabi as a regional centre of excellence in content creation across all media platforms including film, broadcast, music, digital media, events, gaming and                       publishing –source

But wait a minute, who’s the company’s CEO? An Arab, an Emarati god-forbid? No, he’s none but Tony Orsten. But who is Mr. Orsten, what intellectual background does he possess. Would he have the vision to bring us enlightened media that will emerge this Emarati nation and all Arab nations to cultural enlightenment?

Well, he was – and I quote

the Managing Director of MTV Networks International’s comedy channels including Comedy Central. Tony created, developed and launched successful television channels in the UK, Spain, Italy, Poland and Germany – same source as above

Oh boy, so this big flashy company that is supposed to be a pillar for our future generation, and supposed to deliver Arabic cultural illumination is managed by someone who is not only not an Arab nor an Emarati, but also managed a MTV channel. MTV ladies and gentleman to culture, is what McDonalds to nourishing food. Junk.

Fine, maybe the CEO is not an Emarati nor an Arab, but the team under him might be  partially an Emarati team (since you know, the entire authority is a national authority that is based in the freaken heart of the Capital). Yet again, no.

There are 12 key people in the entire structure of the company (picture below), of which only one Emarati woman is among them, that is the great Noura Al-Kaabi, who fills the position of the Head of Human Development, whatever that means (and seriously, we are proud of her).

I want to congratulate our nation for having an-all none local company that will deliver the western skewed vision of a degrading zombiefied nation of MTV youth. Why not bring Kim Kardashian to be head of HR on the way down the hill to the cultural abyss we are about to dive in to.

We are not saying that the authority will kill the culture, but they will have to be damn carful what they produce and who they hire to lead the media production over there. We have all the right to be concerned over what a huge mast like this company will bring to the cultural scene. We owe it to our current/future children to make sure that the future content that will be brought to them, will be delivered out from an Emarati/Arab hand.


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