By Paul Kinsinger
Headlines often paint a grim picture of life in the Middle East. People who view the region from afar see a dangerous place full of angry extremists who can’t get along with themselves or others. Recent stories of human rights violations in Syria and power struggles in Egypt only strengthen the perception of dangerous fallout from the Arab Spring. Yet the media lens distorts reality by focusing on unusual or extreme events. At Thunderbird School of Global Management we believe the best way to understand a culture is to experience it firsthand. Westerners who visit the Middle East might be surprised by what they encounter at the corner café — just as Middle East observers coming the other direction might be surprised by the lack of race riots or hate crimes on your street. In both cases the reality is more mundane than what media headlines suggest.
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