Introduction: Suhair al-Qaisi was born in 1985 in Baghdad, Iraq in Karkh neighborhood. She joined the Faculty of Dentistry for a period, but later left medicine to become a media figure. She began her first stage in the media working in the FM Radio English in Baghdad. After the U.S. invasion of Baghdad, she moved to the United Arab Emirates, resides in Dubai, worked at rMBC Panorama radio. Later on, she was offered a contract with Arabiya News Channel, where she is still working. Suhair was given the title of Ambassador of Good Will by the Iraqi Red Crescent.
She is known by her famous humanitarian visit to Baghdad's Sadr City during one of the military operations during which she distributed humanitarian aids and relief materials to families within a team that was lead by the Iraqi Red Crescent.
Interviewed by - Etaf Shammari
Anchorwoman Suhair al-Qaisi emerged as a superstar TV Face through the Al-Arabiya channel after changing her course of life from becoming a dentist to the field of media. She is known as the most elegant broadcaster with a strong personality and a sharp presence in front of her guests from leading Arab politicians. Here is her recent interview:
In the beginning, we would like to ask about the reason behind not running your own talk show, especially when we know that you were the first female anchor to run such shows since your famous show the Parliament Race in 2010 about the change in Iraq post-2003.
- The Parliament Race was a huge daily show; it accompanied an enormous establishing phase in the history of Iraq and the region. The pluralism of the political structure in Iraq was the fuel behind the success of this show, which drew the attention of the Western press as well. Al-Arabiya wisely chose me to run the first debate show in the Arab world, and they were right about that choice.
You did not answer the question yet. Why after all that success are you limiting your talent to the level of reading the news only?
- The fact of the matter is, having another show helps in boosting my image, and contributes to the elements of success, as the Race of the Parliament was successful. However, it is Al-Arabiya’s call.
What made you switch from becoming a dentist to the media world, as a prime broadcaster at Al-Arabiya TV?
- I follow what I feel passionate about, since I was little. I felt excited about media, despite my love of the medical profession because of its humanitarian side. I tried to pursue them both in the beginning during my college days, but in the end, my media passion triumphed.
While many jobs call for specialization, we see you present newscasts and sometimes talk shows. What is the difference between the two areas from your point of view?
- I am a debater and a journalist. I am also quite passionate about the fast-beat news as well as the sharp challenge during a debate. Taking part in both works as there are no big differences, if you are a journalist by nature.
Communication studies have proven that women are less interested in news and politics; do you like politics, or do you consider it as just an instrument of your career?
- Politics intervenes in the simplest detail of daily life, so if you do not have interest in politics, you still have to pay attention to it out of necessity.
To what extent can you express your political opinions, if they are different from your guests’ views?
- I am against dictating the show by the personal view of the broadcaster.
What are the standards of a good anchor from your viewpoint? In addition, does beauty play a major role within the criteria of this field?
- The beauty is God's grace; in fact, the external beauty is a result of the internal one. However, beauty does not always play a big role. Being passionate about what you do, as well as having a powerful understanding of argument, rhetoric, and diligence are the basic standards.
Translated from Arabic & edited by UR-IS