Hi, and bye

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In July and August, a new resolutely apolitical lifestyle magazine called Hi hit the Lebanese newsstands. Available only in Arabic, the magazine featured stories on singers, student life, online matchmaking and other matters that the publishers hoped would appeal to youth in the Middle East.

What made this product noteworthy was not so much its content, or its publisher, Magazine Group, a corporation specialized in niche magazines, but the fact that Hi is funded by the US State Department to the tune of $4 million annually. This makes Hi yet another example of the US government

Thomas Schellen

Thomas Schellen is Executive's editor-at-large. He has been reporting on Middle Eastern business and economy for over 20 years.