Onion-style Arabic satirical news website launches English edition

SourceThe Guardian
SectorTechnology
CountryGCC

A groundbreaking Arabic satirical news site that skewers the Middle East’s politicians and pieties – dodging the ire of hostile governments and their online supporters – has launched an English language edition. Al-Hudood (the Limits), with deadpan headlines reminiscent of the US publication the Onion, has rankled authorities in the Arab world since launching in 2013. It gives new audiences a taste of groundbreaking humour that ranges from dry (“Students at local school memorise lesson in independent thinking”) to dark (“Intelligence service corrects beliefs of man who thought he only feared God”) to pitch-black (“Syrian dies of natural causes”). “People have gone numb to all the horrors that are around us, and we are trying to get them to look at things from a new angle,” said Isam Uraiqat, the website’s London-based editor-in-chief. His team of about 15 people, most working from the Jordanian capital, Amman, hold an editorial meeting every weekday to discuss new stories. They decide the message of the article before the jokes, he says. “Once that angle is there, we ask, how can we make this funny? What’s the irony?” Their job is getting harder – and not just because of increased attention from security services.

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