Sample Essay

The image of a nation (or a country) is crucial in the conduct of international relations and a favorable image serves to play a critical role in asserting influence[1]. The strategic communication tools like public relations and media can play a vital role in enhancing the image of a country, while the same tools can also undermine the image to the extent that the real image is abolished.

The presence of fifteen Saudis among the hijackers of 9/11 changed the image of Saudi Arabia in the eyes of the world as well as in the eyes of the Americans who were the target of September 11, 2001 attacks on World trade center. The shift in the image of the Kingdom in the United States can be summed up as ‘Saudi bashing’[2]. Before September 11, 2001 the Kingdom had never been the focus of the researchers and the authors, but the attacks of the 9/11 led to the advent of surplus research and writings about the country that served to build the image of the Kingdom as perceived from the eyes of individual authors and researchers who interposed their own sentiments and prejudices in their writings. ‘Satellite and the internet’, says Gresh, ‘have made the Saudi subjects more open to debate’.

 [1] Wang, J. “Managing national reputation and international relations in the global era: Public diplomacy revisited.” Public Relations Review, 2006: 91-96.

 [2] Gresh, Alain. “Saudi Arabia, a Kingdom Divided.” The Nation, 5 22, 2006: 18-22

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