Dazed Digital

Dubai

The Pan-Arabia Enquirer

May 7, 2012

Interviewing the nameless, faceless editors behind the satirical new site

  • Text by Simone Sebastian

From the home of the tallest tower, biggest mall, busiest highway and err… coldest indoor ski slope, comes the region’s snarkiest satirical news website. The Pan-Arabia Enquirer has recently become the city’s source for the kinds of news stories that are so over-the-top and ridiculous, that they could actually be true (this is Dubai after all). In the hopes of getting to know the anonymous writers behind stories like ‘Bin Laden tops dead celebrity earners list’ and ‘The Bangles disqualified from Egyptian election’, Satellite Voices reached out across the ether of the internet for an email interview with the editors.   

Satellite Voices: So who's behind the Pan-Arabia Enquirer then? 
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: Unfortunately, due to contractual constrictions, we’re unable to reveal this information. Needless to say, we all travel on separate planes so we can continue our important work in the event of catastrophe.

SV: Dubai definitely lends itself to parody - are there any real-life news stories amusing the Pan-Arabia writers at the moment? 
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: To be honest, the UAE does have a habit of outdoing us when it comes to satire, but we did actually make headlines on several popular regional news outlets when they reported one of our stories (moron reserves region’s first iPad 3 for $300,000) as fact. Phattoush!

SV: The Pan-Arabia About page clearly states that the content is "entirely made up". Do you still get heated emails from readers objecting to posts such as "Saudi man first to divorce wife via Twitter" and "FatwApp"..?
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: You only need to look at the comments section – which is becoming almost as funny as the stories themselves – to see just how seriously people take our clearly fake stories. There’s actually been a recent spate of Twitter-based divorces.

SV: What is currently the most popular post on the site? 
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: At the moment it’s the story about Club Smug, closely followed by the tale of a gentleman upset that he didn’t make it onto the Forbes Billionaire list (despite owning a helicopter lined with panda fur).

SV: And which one is a personal favourite of the editors? 
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: Obviously, we love all our children, but we did particularly high-five the ancient mall found beneath Dubai story. We’re also rather proud of the one about expats ‘baffled’ by the toilet hose

SV: We're big fans of DJ Habibi 2000 by the way! Any chance he'll come on as a monthly columnist?
Pan-Arabia Enquirer: Absolutely, he’d love to get involved, so long as he has time between his residencies at Club Smug and Guccci and shamelessly self-promoting his new range of button-less shirts.

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