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Last Updated: Friday, 18 July, 2003, 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK
Arab youths wooed with US magazine
Hi Magazine
The magazine is aimed at promoting American values

The United States has launched an Arabic-language lifestyle magazine for young men and women across the Middle East.

The government hopes the publication, called Hi, will change America's image among 18 to 35 year olds in the Arab world.

The monthly magazine is designed to be a "window on American culture" covering topics such as education, technology, music, health and sports.

The US is launching a media offensive in the Middle East to counter rising anti-American sentiment following its military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives gave its support to a huge funding bill for foreign projects that include a new radio and television network for the region.

24-hour news network

Hi Magazine is being produced by a private Washington-based company, the Magazine Group - employing a team of Arabs and Arab-Americans from both the United States and the Middle East.

The magazine is sponsored by the US state department, and has gone on news-stands in several countries.

Announcing its creation in March, the company said the magazine was aimed at promoting an understanding of American values.

"It will fill a niche between political news publications and glossy beauty and fashion by offering cultural information about the United States not readily available in the Middle East," said president Jane Ottenberg.

"With its vibrant editorial and eye-catching format, we hope the magazine can serve as a springboard for greater dialogue and understanding between young Arab readers and young Americans".

The US House of Representatives earlier this week agreed to fund the creation of a 24-hour radio and television news network aimed at promoting American values in the Middle East.

"This new network will... greatly contribute to an enhancement of our efforts to combat the misinformation and propaganda that contribute to the rising anti-American sentiment in the region," said Representative Henry Hyde, International Relations Committee Chairman.

But some correspondents say it is Washington's response to the popular Qatar-based Arabic television news station al-Jazeera.

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