Barriers to the Broad Dissemination of Creative Works in the Arab World

The RAND report “Barriers to the Broad Dissemination of Creative Works in the Arab World” offers recommendations on creating Arab access to Arab authors that counter and refute the ideology of extremism.

Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. ... A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. … A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books.

One of these lessons is how to overcome the understandable skepticism that foreign audiences have toward government-sponsored media activities. … Another lesson from the Cold War is to carefully consider the target audience and identify media sources that are most likely to influence them. … A third lesson is the value of nonpolitical material in combating extremism.

The report is a worthwhile read even they did not (understandably) mention the a) number of Lincoln biographies in State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) distribution list (not too long the # was 10) and b) past DOD efforts to correct – and ultimately work around – this failure to understand the requirements.