[P4892] Children, Youth, and Media in Middle Eastern Conflict Zones

Created by Yael Warshel
Tuesday, 11/21/17 8:00am


This panel seeks to carve out new pathways into the subject of children, youth, and media in Middle Eastern conflict zones. Responding to children and media literature that emphasizes an analysis of the effects on or reception by children living in non-Middle Eastern peace zones of fictive violence, children, media and conflict literature instead emphasizes an analysis of the effects on or reception by children living in non-Middle Eastern peace zones of non-fiction violence, or news. Both sets of literature focus on how to help non-Middle Eastern children cope with the problem of violence (whether imagined or real). The goal of this panel is to explore alternative conceptions for the analysis of children, media and conflict, namely, those that emphasize the contexts of Middle Eastern conflict zones, including how adults co-opt children, whom, in spite of such efforts, attempt to “normalize” their lives amid conflict. The four proposed panel papers shed light on this under researched area. The first offers an overview of five scholarly approaches to the topic in order to propose a new transdisciplinary approach. The proceeding papers provide provocative illustrations of the utility of such an approach. Two of the papers critically interpret how adults use media, either to recruit children into active conflict roles, or to report about and frame children strategically as passive victims. More specifically, the second paper employs a children and conflict approach to investigate how adult members of ISIS and the Taliban have used Facebook to recruit child soldiers into the “Caliphate Cubs of ISIS” and “Taliban’s Soldiers of God”, respectively. The third paper utilizes this same approach, together with a conflict zones approach, to interpret how WWI Ottoman adult males used orphanage newspapers to glorify Ottoman boys—victims of either the Armenian genocide or Balkan wars, to advance their own goals of Turkish (male) nationalism. This third paper goes on to contrast these orphanage newspaper accounts with the orphaned boys’ own testimonials to police describing how Ottoman orphanage adult employees physically and sexually abused them. The final paper uses a youth and social movements approach to define the contradictory meanings of Palestinian youth’s perspectives on their own digital media uses. These youth view their “chosen” escape from the real to the virtual as a symbol of their isolation, and/or a means to actively resist the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.





Yael Warshel

(Pennsylvania State University)
Yael Warshel is a Penn State University Rock Ethics Institute core faculty and assistant professor of telecommunications. She works at the intersection between international media, child, and conflict analysis, practice and policy specializing in what...
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Organizer; Presenter;

Tugce Kayaal

(University of Michigan)
Tugce Kayaal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Near Eastern Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before coming to Michigan, she completed her BA degree in Marmara University Political Science and International Relations program (2007-2011),...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Weeda Mehran

(McGill University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mariam Abdul-Dayyem

(University of Otago)
Born in Jerusalem, Mariam is a social activist, facilitator, and project manager. She has her BA in Chemistry from Birzeit University and a Master's degree in the Sociology of Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her topic of Master's degree...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;