Al Jazeera Arabic (Arabic: الجزيرة al-Jazīrah, IPA: [æl dʒæzɪˈriː], literally «The Island», also known as JSC (Jazeera Satellite Channel)) is a Qatari state-owned news and current affairs satellite TV channel owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera Media Network is a major global news organization, with 80 bureaux around the world. The original Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. The station gained worldwide attention following the September 11 attacks when it was the only channel to cover the war in Afghanistan live from its office there.
The station is broadcast in the Middle East and Europe and as of 2010 is available on satellite systems in over 100 countries. It is also available on cable systems in some countries and its website is also available in a number of languages. Viewers can also watch Al Jazeera Arabic live on its website.
Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English are the result of the merger of Al Jazeera’s former Arabic and English satellite channels which occurred in 2006. The merger created a single channel which provides news and current affairs programming in both Arabic and English and is aimed at the international news market, although a large proportion of its output is aimed at an Arab audience.
The channel is a 24-hour, free-to-air, general entertainment channel and is available on satellite systems across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the US. Its sister channel, Al Jazeera English, is available in over 100 countries across the globe.
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