CIA in recruitment pitch to Arab-AmericanHello, I love you, won't you tell me your name.
A new television advertisement to be broadcast nationwide in the United States shows an Arab-American family preparing for dinner in a sleek apartment. Middle Eastern tapestries decorate the walls, platters of food are spread out across a large table – it has all the trappings of a modern-day iftar.
It is not until the end of the 30-second spot that you know what is being sold: “Your nation, your world. They are worth protecting,” says a narrator, speaking English with a Middle Eastern accent. “Careers at the Central Intelligence Agency.”
The advertisement is part of an unprecedented push by the CIA to recruit Arab-Americans to its ranks. It was unveiled this week – along with another spot targeting Farsi-speaking Iranian-Americans – at a screening in Dearborn, Michigan, a community outside Detroit with the highest concentration of Arabs in the United States.Although the CIA does not release statistics of the ethnicity of its agents, it has said that only about a third of analysts and 40 per cent of overseas operatives are proficient in a foreign language.
A CIA spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said the advertisements were designed to fill “a need” at the agency.