Middle East Eye

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Middle East Eye
MEE Logo.jpg
FoundedApril 2014
LocationLondon, United Kingdom

Middle East Eye (MEE) is a London-based online news outlet covering events in the Middle East. According to its official website, MEE is an "independently funded online news organization that was founded in April 2014". It aims to be the primary portal of Middle East news, and describes its target audience as "all those communities of readers living in and around the region that care deeply for its fate".[1]

MEE is suspected of pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias by a number of governments, observers and scholars. Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies demanded that Qatar shut down MEE, which they consider to be a Qatari-funded and aligned outlet.


MEE is edited by David Hearst, the former chief foreign leader writer for the British daily The Guardian.[2] MEE is owned by M.E.E Ltd, a UK company that was incorporated in 2013.[3][4] According to the news editor Dania Akkad most of the stories are written by freelancers that can approach Middle East Eye for news, features and op/eds. The focus are stories that highlight local people and local stories.[5]

MEE employs about 20 full-time staff in its London offices. The director of M.E.E Ltd is Jamal Bessasso (whose surname is alternatively spelled Bassasso), a former director of planning and human resources at Al Jazeera.[4]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Links to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar[edit]

According to Michael Rubin, a scholar in the American Enterprise Institute, MEE and its chief editor David Hearst were noted to have exclusive access to Hamas news content in their articles.[6][7][8] David Hearst was also noted by Rubin to have penned editorials praising and defending the Muslim brotherhood.[6][9][10] According to Rubin, The Middle East Eye website was registered by a former employee of Interpal, which is a United Kingdom-based charity designated by the US Treasury Department as a financial supporter of Hamas.[6]

According to the Hudson Institute, MEE and Middle East Monitor were launched by Muslim Brotherhood affiliates as an alternative to the Qatari based Al Jazeera to provide western readers the Muslim Brotherhood point of view.[11]

Saudi Arabia accuses MEE of being a news outlet funded by Qatar (both directly and indirectly).[12] The Emirati newspaper The National, claimed Middle East Eye coverage to have an anti-Emirati bias and noted several members employed by MEE to be originally part of Al Jazeera.[13][14] The National also accused MEE of being associated with multiple members of the Muslim Brotherhood.[13]

On 22 June 2017, during the Qatar diplomatic crisis, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain, as part of a list of 13 demands, demanded that Qatar close Middle East Eye, which they saw as sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and a Qatari-funded and aligned outlet. Middle East Eye denied it has ever received Qatari funds.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Middle East Eye". Middle East Eye.
  2. ^ David Hearst. Articles. Middle East Eye. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Terms and conditions". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b Langton, James (26 June 2014). "New London connection to Islamists". The National. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Quickfire Q&As with commissioning editors". Rory Peck Trust.
  6. ^ a b c "Qatar's other covert media arm". American Enterprise Institution. 25 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Hamas pushes Abbas to join ICC". Middle East Eye. 11 August 2014.
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Blair met Khaled Meshaal to negotiate end of Gaza siege". Middle East Eye. 21 June 2015.
  9. ^ Hearst, David (20 April 2016). "It's open season on the Muslim Brotherhood". Middle East Eye.
  10. ^ Hearst, David (8 November 2016). "Why the West cannot afford to ignore political Islam". Middle East Eye.
  11. ^ Tadros, Samuel (20 August 2015). "The Brotherhood Divided". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  12. ^ Wintour, Patrick (14 November 2017). "Qatar given 10 days to meet 13 sweeping demands by Saudi Arabia". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Muslim Brotherhood, its UK connections and media attacks on the UAE". The National. June 19, 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  14. ^ Langton, James (June 26, 2014). "Al Jazeera executive helped to launch controversial UK website". The National. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  15. ^ Carlstorm, Gregg (24 June 2017). "What's the Problem With Al Jazeera?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  16. ^ Mandhai, Shafik (18 July 2017). "Al Jazeera: 'Business as normal' despite Gulf Crisis". Al-Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. Retrieved 20 December 2018.

External links[edit]