Layalina Productions, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, private sector corporation , was "founded in March 2002 by Richard Fairbanks, the former chief U.S. negotiator for the Middle East Peace Process, to produce thoughtful Arabic-language television programming for broadcast in the Arab Middle East. The corporation's Board of Counselors comprises former diplomats and officials, broadcasters, and private sector executives from the United States. Layalina's educational, debate, entertainment, and children's shows aim to strengthen existing bridges of mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab world and build new ones." Fairbanks is Layalina's Chairman of the Board; Marc Charles Ginsberg, a former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, is president; and Layalina's Honorary Chairman is former President George H.W. Bush. 
Note: Layalina Productions "('Our Nights') in Arabic", was "formally called Al-Haqiqa ('The Truth')." 
"Layalina develops and produces informative and entertaining Arabic-language programming for licensing to satellite and cable television networks throughout the Arab Middle East and North Africa," its website states. 
They also boast that "Hollywood's best develop our programming with input from our Program Production Advisory Board", adding that "Layalina's efforts represent the first private sector initiative to establish new lines of communication and dialogue with citizens and key opinion leaders throughout the Arab world. We realize that no single television program or series will immediately alter increasingly hardening attitudes, but America cannot afford to forfeit the terrain in the battle of ideas." 
Battle to "win hearts and minds"
"Layalina develops and produces documentaries, debates, entertainment, and children's programming for broadcast in the vernacular on Arab-owned satellite and cable television networks throughout the Arab world," Fairbanks wrote in a June 2005 article for Yale University alumni.
"Although the Bush administration has established a few major media initiatives and is clearly focused on a variety of policies to reshape the Middle East, their battle to win 'hearts and minds' has thus far not been a smashing success. The contribution of non-governmental actors, particularly non-profits, in public diplomacy initiatives can help ameliorate Arab skepticism toward the U.S. The interpersonal, apolitical, and non-profit character of Layalina and its credibility and production values makes it particularly attractive for Arab broadcasting networks and individuals. Layalina's projects and objectives are also, of course, quite attractive to our private sector as American citizens and companies living in and doing business in the Arab world can only benefit from improved relations between the United States and the Arab world," Fairbanks wrote.
"Layalina is funded solely through tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations, and through grants by foundations based in the U.S. and the Arab world." 
In October 2005, Layalina received a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation of California (www.hewlett.org) to "underwrite part of the development and pre-production expenses for Ben & Izzy, including character development, bible, and pilot production. This cross-cultural children’s animation series will be co-produced by Layalina Productions of Washington, DC, and Rubicon of Amman, Jordan. David Pritchard, as Executive Director, will lead the creative team." 
Online Fundraising: Swift Boat Connection
The web address for Layalina Productions' fundraising efforts links to DonationReport.com, plus an extension code for Layalina Productions.
The connection for the DonationReport.com website arrives at a Login page—requiring both a User ID and Password—which belongs to eDonation.com, a member of The Donatelli Group, a fundraising company that has raised campaign funds for the Republican National Committee, Republican National Convention, Bush-Cheney '04 Inc., John McCain, the NRA , and an exhaustive list of Republican members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as other political organizations. 
The Donatelli Group, using its "primary segment" Campaign Solutions , is associated with Creative Response Concepts, the public relations firm that advised Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the "organization that accused Kerry of inflating his Vietnam War record" during the 2004 presidential campaign. 
The Donatelli Group, which produced the RNC website , also created the SWIFTBOATVETSFORTRUTH.ORG website July 30, 2004, with Connell Donatelli Inc. (a.k.a. The Donatelli Group) as Registrant. Connell Donatelli Inc. was also listed as both Administrator and the Tech Organization for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth website. 
- Leon Shahabian, Development Director; Vice President and Treasurer 
- Stephanie Julmy; Volunteer Coordinator; Program Associate 
- Margaret Daher 
- The Honorable Thomas Ludlow Ashley - Director
- The Honorable John E. Chapoton - Director
- Ambassador Richard Fairbanks - Chairman of the Board
- Fred F. Fielding - Director
- Ambassador Marc Charles Ginsberg - President
- Ambassador Paul Russo - Director
- Mr. Frederick B. Whittemore - Director
Board of Counselors
- President George H.W. Bush, Honorary Chairman of the Board
- Tarek Abdul-Meguid
- David M. Abshire
- Richard V. Allen
- George L. Argyrosv
- Thomas Ludlow Ashley
- James A. Baker III
- Samuel R. Berger
- Wayne L. Berman
- Reginald K. Brack
- Zbigniew Brzezinski
- John E. Chapoton
- Lawrence S. Eagleburger
- Richard Fairbanks
- A.H. Farouki
- Fred F. Fielding
- Marc Charles Ginsberg
- Lee H. Hamilton
- Don Hewitt
- Carla Anderson Hills
- Henry A. Kissinger
- Maura B. Morey
- Sam Nunn
- Paul A. Russo
- Alejandro Santo Domingo
- James Rodney Schlesinger
- Brent Scowcroft
- George P. Shultz
- Damaris Skouras
- Jeffrey H. Smulyan
- Carl Spielvogel
- Robert S. Strauss
- John C. Whitehead
- Frederick B. Whittemore
- Daniel Yergin
- Ezra K. Zilkha
- Layalina Productions
- 1800 K Street, NW, Suite 400
- Washington, DC 20006
- Phone:202-775-3202 Fax:202-822-6354
- Email: information AT layalina.tv
- Web: http://www.layalina.tv
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Al Arabiya
- Al Hurra
- America Abroad Media
- C-SPAN Baghdad
- controlling the message
- Hi Magazine
- Iraqi media
- Iraqi Media Network
- Middle East Television Network
- Office of Media Outreach
- post-war Iraq
- Radio Farda
- Radio Sawa
- war propaganda
- Series: "On the Road in America" produced by Layalina Productions.
- "Ben & Izzy", The TV IV. Program to air Spring 2007.
- Emmanuel Evita, "Firms and non-profits try diplomacy," UPI (Business for Diplomatic Action), November 19, 2004.
- Richard Fairbanks, "Hearts and Minds in the Middle East," Yale Alumni 1962, June 15, 2005.
- News Release: "Ben & Izzy Receives Hewlett Foundation Grant: Grant to Help Cover Pre-Production Costs of Cross-cultural Animated Series" and News Release: "Rubicon, Layalina and Fat Rock Announce the First Arab/American Children's Production. Companies Join Together to Produce and Distribute an Animated Home Video/DVD Series," Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, October 2005.
- "USA-based Layalina Productions to License Reality Series to MBC Group," Zawya.com, October 13, 2005: "MBC Group is a Dubai-based diversified media company. It owns and operates Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC), the first and leading pan-Arab free-to-air satellite network; MBC2, the non-stop Western movie channel that is the most watched in the Middle East; MBC3, the TV channel just for kids that offers high quality programs; and Al Arabiya, the independent, ground-breaking 24-hour news and information channel. Additionally MBCfM is the leading authentic Gulf music and entertainment radio station based in Saudi Arabia, and Panorama FM, which is the leading pan-Arab music and talk radio station."
- Charlotte Martin, "Conference unites students, leaders," Yale Daily News (Americans for Informed Democracy), February 21, 2006.
- News Release: "Layalina Productions of USA to License Reality Series to MBC Group of UAE," U.S. Newswire, October 27, 2006.