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Defense of a Master’s Thesis by Heba Al Ghoul in the Contemporary Public Relations Program

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Researcher Heba Jihad Al Ghoul, a student in the Master’s program in Contemporary Public Relations, had defended her thesis titled “Sports Communication and the Palestinian National Reputation on Twitter during the Qatar World Cup 2022.”

This study aimed to explore the interactive relationship between communication and the field of sports as well as their contribution to enhancing the national reputation and highlighting the Palestinian identity during the Qatar 2022 World Cup. It also aimed to analyze tweets that highlighted the Palestinian case in English language on Twitter during that period.

The significance of this study comes from the fact that it is considered one of the pioneering studies specialized in analyzing national reputation and sports communication in the Arab and Asian countries. The study was based on the theory of prioritization with its three levels: agenda setting, framing, and the network prioritization (NAS) model, which contributed to understanding the role of tweets on Twitter during the Qatar World Cup 2022. It also contributed to the arrangement of the public’s priorities with regard to reputation and Palestinian national identity as well as drawing a framework for how to think about it and then sharing it and disseminating meanings and ideas on a wide level among digital audiences. Moreover, it contributed to measuring the emergence of the Palestinian national reputation and identity during the 2022 World Cup.

This study is a descriptive analytical study and uses a mixed approach (quantitative and qualitative). The study relied on two main instruments to answer the research questions and achieve its objectives. These instruments are the interview that the researcher conducted with six specialists in the field of sports communication, including media professionals and academics, and the content analysis for the study sample which is (396 tweets) from football fans’ posts on Twitter about the Palestinian case from those who followed the events of the 2022 Qatar World Cup during period between (November 18 and December 20) of 2022.

The study recommended the need to exploit international football tournaments, such as the World Cup, to disseminate information more widely on social media platforms, especially Twitter about the Palestinian case and the policies of racial discrimination committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians, for their important role in enhancing and highlighting the Palestinian reputation and national identity.

The thesis was supervised by Dr. Omar Abu Arqoub. The committee of examiners included Dr. Ibrahim Rabaya and Dr. Shadi Abu Ayyash.