Al-Jazeera journalist speaking tonight at Rockland

Posted July 28, 2011, at 11:22 a.m.
Last modified July 28, 2011, at 11:39 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Al-Jazeera’s Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Abderrahim Foukara will speak tonight as part of a fundraiser for the General Henry Knox Museum. The Arabic news network’s journalist will appear at the Strand Theatre in Rockland as the annual gala’s keynote speaker.

A museum spokeswoman said Thursday morning that tickets for the event are sold out.

Foukara’s pending visit has sparked a public debate about the Thomaston museum’s choice of keynote speaker. Some have criticized the museum for legitimizing what they believe to be a “terrorist news network,” while others fully support the choice and view protesters as “narrow-minded extremists,” according to previous reports.

Police plan to monitor any protests outside the theater.

Foukara is expected to talk about the network’s coverage of “Arab Spring,” the recent pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has cited the Arabic news network for its effective coverage of the movement.

Al-Jazeera, with its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, broadcasts to more than 220 million households in more than 100 countries, according to information listed on its website.

Money raised from the gala helps maintain a replica of Montpelier in Thomaston, which was home to Gen. Henry Knox.

BDN reporter Abigail Curtis contributed to this report.

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