Faisal Al-Qassem Biography
Faisal Al-Qassem, also known as Faisal Al-Kassem is a British-Syrian television personality based in Qatar. He is best known for hosting Al Jazeera’s controversial live debate show The Opposite Direction (Arabic: ), in which two guests with opposing points of view debate on a variety of topics, mostly related to the politics of the Arab world. On rare occasions, fights break out.
How old is Faisal Al-Qassem? – Age
Faisal Al-Qassem was born in the Syrian hamlet of Thaala in the Al-Suwayda Governorate in 1961. He is a member of Syria’s Druze religious minority. He is 60 years as of 2021.
Where did Faisal Al-Qassem go to school? – Education
Al-Qassem earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Damascus in 1983 and a doctorate in English literature from the University of Hull in 1990. He studied theater at Hull before moving on to television. Al-Qassem’s ambition was to become a television weather forecaster.
Faisal Al-Qassem Wife – Family
Al-Qassem is married to a Syrian lady from the same village, and they have three children: a girl named Saba and two boys named Aseel and Adam.
What is Faisal Al-Qassem Salary?
Al-Qassem’s salary has not been stated.
Al-Qassem Net Worth
Al-Qassem’s net worth is approximately $1,5 million.
Before joining Al Jazeera, Al-Qassem worked for BBC Arabic Radio and TV for over eight years as a producer and anchor of political and cultural programs. 1994-1996: Worked as a news presenter and host for the show “Behind the News” on BBC television. From 1993 to 1996, Al- Qassem worked as a news reporter for The Arab Emirates Radio in London. 1991: Producer and host of the MBC channel’s The Journalism Show. 1989-1988: Producer and presenter of cultural shows in the Arab department at the BBC. He was the Producer and host of several BBC entertainment and music shows, including “Adwaa Wa Qadaya” (Lights and Cases), “Araa Wa Maraya” (Opinions and Mirrors), and others. Producer and host of several BBC political shows, including “Al-Aalam Hatha Al Sabaah” (The World This Morning), “Alam Al Thaheera” (Afternoon World”), and others.
He has written numerous articles for American magazines.
I wrote a weekly article in “Al-Sharq” (The East) Qatari newspaper until today. In 1996, he joined Al-Jazeera as news and show presenter. In 1997: Launched “The Opposite Direction” show. “The Opposite Direction” is regarded as probably the most controversial talk show in the history of Arab television. It is also one of the most popular and has drawn official protests and complaints from officials. It is similar to CNN’s Crossfire and is a political debate show that features guests who hold opposing opinions and debate a controversial topic.
Hugh Miles wrote in his book on Al-Jazeera “the show has been the source of numerous international disputes and instigated the severance of diplomatic relations with several neighboring countries.”Dr. Faisal Al-Qassem prepares the show himself, researching, writing, and presenting it single-handedly. Through it, he has become one of the most famous faces in the Arab world. Al-Qassem’s program has led to diplomatic crises between the state of Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based, and several Arab countries, five of which withdrew their ambassadors from Doha in protest over the program. According to Faisal Al-Qassem, his mission is to liberate the Arab World from dictatorship, despotism, and traditions. Al-Qassem has been viewed in many cases as a big supporter of the 2011 Arab revolutions, by fueling them and spreading awareness through his show “The Opposite Direction”. His colleague and friend, Yahya Abo-Zakariya, describes the introductory scenes of the show presented by Al-Qassem as more like revolution statements, backed up with dramatic music effects that made them sound very powerful. The show became fuel for the revolutions and has allowed the accumulation of awareness of the revolt and public awakening, which in turn played a part in creating the situation of the Arab revolt against the current situation.
Nonetheless, Al-Qassem has been widely criticized by various people for different reasons.
He has been criticized for his selection of guests, such as for the episode on the alleged terrorist armed gangs of Syria, where he hosted a military personality to debate with a Lebanese author, where the military personality was viewed as incompetent and inappropriate for such a debate. In addition, a Syrian blogger has criticized and attacked him, describing him as sectarian due to his selection of pro-government guests only from the Christian sect to debate with opposition figures mainly from the Muslim-Sunni sect, accusing him of trying to give the revolution a sectarian appearance. Also, Al-Qassem’s statements that described the Yemeni people as drunks due to their high percentage of qat drug addiction raised a huge amount of criticism against him and his show among Yemenis. Some have even demanded a public apology from him for insulting the Yemeni people. On February 13, 2019, Israeli comedienne Noam Shuster-Eliassi, speaking to i24 News, joked that she would like to marry the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. On February 17, Al-Qassem posted on his Facebook account about Shuster-Eliassi’s comment. Subsequently, BBC Arabic and Al Jazeera covered the story as if Shuster-Eliassi’s proposal were genuine.