Al-Araby TV hits the airwaves this month

Al-Araby TV hits the airwaves this month
The new channel's directors say it will present a mix of programmes and offer accuracy, objectivity and analysis of current events.
3 min read
20 January, 2015
The channel will launch on 25 January, the anniversary of Egypt's revolution [al-Araby]

The countdown has begun.

On January 25, a date filled with memories of Egyptian revolutionaries building a new Middle East, al-Araby TV will for the first time be broadcast to a screen near you.

The channel, a subsidiary of the Araby TV network, will be launched in London, and will be managed by Ahmed Zein. A number of top journalists have already joined the channel.

Al-Araby TV will serve as a platform for a new generation of youth across the Arab world, shedding new light on their hopes, their views, how they see themselves, the world and the future.

Who are the New Arabs? You. And us. Read Azmi Bishara's analysis of the revolutionary generation

A statement from the network said it would apply the highest standards of accuracy and objectivity in international journalism, adding that it would report all views and provide deep analysis of the issues.

"We have one loyalty, which is to the truth, which we consider to be the right of the people and the obligation of the media," said al-Araby TV CEO Islam Lutfi. "This comes at a time when loyalties among media outlets are distributed between the regimes, financial capitals, ideologies, extremism, illusions and delusions."

The channel will serve as a platform for a new generation of youth around the Arab world.

Lutfi said the new channel would "celebrate the heroism of Arab citizens in their daily struggles".

"We open the door for marginalised people, whether they are marginalised economically, socially, ethnically, religiously or due to their age," he said. "We are aware of the responsibility of the media. We value it and cherish it, since it is the main influence on our society."

'Varied and interesting'

The channel will kick off with a number of political, cultural and entertainment programmes. They will include a daily talk show named The Arab Today - to be presented by Fada Basil, formerly of the BBC, and Khaled al-Gharabli, who previously worked at Monte Carlo International radio station.

The Opinion Market, meanwhile, aims to provide a broadcast space for the channel's viewers and social media followers.

The famed Egyptian writer Bilal Fadil will also have a weekly show named Book Juice, while journalist and filmmaker Asad Taha will present Journey, in which he visits areas of conflict he covered as a reporter in the 1990s.

The channel will also offer a number of TV dramas from the Arab world and beyond. The first will be the acclaimed British drama The Promise, which will be broadcast for the first time on Arab screens.

It tells the story of a British woman who reads her grandfather's diary and finds out that he had forced Arabs out of their homes in Palestine in support of Israel. She embarks on a journey to return the houses' keys to their owners after she discovers the role her grandfather played in the creation of Israel in 1948.

"We are trying to create a distinctive media experience, through a combination of entertainment, interesting information, and accurate and profound analysis," said Ahmed Zein, the new channel's director.

"What sets us apart is the fact that we are open to different youth projects - including arts, community-based initiatives and new media ventures."

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.