As an extraordinary year in the Middle East draws to a close, CNN Arabic and Connect the World with Becky Anderson are inviting audiences in the region and beyond to help identify the person who has most influenced the Middle East in 2014.
By analysing audience data from the CNN Arabic website across the year, CNN has identified ten key figures that have made the biggest impact on the region.
The ten range from political leaders to inspirational one-offs, as well as emblems of mass movements that are altering the region’s socio-political landscape:
•Abdel Fattah al Sisi, President of Egypt
•King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
•Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Self-Proclaimed Caliph of the “Islamic State”:
•Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
•Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
•The Foreign Extremist Fighter
•Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran
•Mariam Al Mansouri, First Emirati female fighter pilot
•The Middle Eastern Refugee
•Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey
CNN audiences can visit cnnarabic.com/influencer2014 to select the three names from the list that they believe most warrant the title of #Influencer2014.
CNN anchor Becky Anderson, who hosts Connect the World live from CNN’s Middle East hub in Abu Dhabi, said: “This year has been as fascinating as it has been troubling, with so many huge stories emanating from the region. We wanted to engage with our audiences in both Arabic and English to get their take on some of the key people who have made their marks. Our survey, Town Hall debate, and special programme will give us a unique way to get under the skin of this region’s story.”
The survey will run until 25 November 2014. The results will then be debated during a special CNN Arabic and Connect the World Town Hall event in UAE, which will be broadcast in early December on CNN International.
The CNN #Influencer2014 Town Hall will see an invited audience of the region’s key players joining students and members of the region’s new generation joining together to give their perspective on the list.
As well as on the CNN Arabic website, audiences will also be able to give their take on social media, using the hashtag #Influencer2014.