As the 2022 World Cup plays out in Qatar, the first Arab country to host the major sporting event, we speak with history professor Abdullah Al-Arian, who says the international media is projecting an "Orientalist outlook" in its coverage of the games. Al-Arian says despite mainstream discourse, football in the Middle East has historically been used by nationalist movements as "a means of organizing collectively on the basis of achieving their own liberation against colonial rule." His recent New York Times opinion piece is "Why the World Cup Belongs in the Middle East."
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