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Media use at the crossroads: Nicosia

By Fatima El Issawi and Myria Georgiou

Abstract

Cyprus has always been a crossroads between continental Europe and the Middle East and the history of migration from this region to the eastern Mediterranean island can be traced back more than two thousand years. Contemporary migration has had its distinct history with significant waves of refugees migrating from the Middle East to Cyprus since the 1960s. In these recent times, Lebanese and Palestinians have become the two largest groups of migrants to Cyprus. In addition, since the turn of the 21st century and with the growth of the Cypriot economy, smaller waves of economic migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa have moved to Cyprus. Although Arabic migration spreads across the island, an established Arab community sustains a strong and longstanding presence in Nicosia, the capital. For this study we recruited individuals from different social and ethnic backgrounds, including Middle Eastern migrants and Cypriotborn migrants from locations such as Lebanon and Palestine especially, but also newcomers from the Gulf region and North Africa. This article is based on six focus groups of three different age groups (three female and three male; age groups: 18–25, 26–45, 46+) conducted in Nicosia, Cyprus, in June 2009. Each focus group included between six and eight participants of various Arabic backgrounds. The Nicosia focus groups have tended to reflect the distinct cultural position Arab participants occupy in contemporary South Eastern Europe (i.e. being primarily refugees living close to the Middle East). Thus, the focus groups revealed a number of distinct characteristics compared to the focus groups in other countries included in the Media and Citizenship study. Most importantly, among the Nicosia participants, we observed more participants identifying as cosmopolitan subjects compared to any other group studied in the seven EU capitals. In addition, a significant number of participants described diverse and rich media practices, which construct multilingual media worlds that include media in various European languages, as well as Arabic national and transnational media

Topics: HT Communities. Classes. Races, PN1990 Broadcasting
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1177/14648849100110060608
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:33446
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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