First Women’s Radio in Middle East
14 Sep 2010
A pioneering Arabic radio station, run for and by women, went live earlier this year in Palestine
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A pioneering Arabic radio station that began broadcasting live in June on FM 96.0 and online at www.radionisaa.net, is the first Palestinian channel run for women, by women. Nisaa FM, a blend of news, interviews, music, call-ins and discussions, aims to inform and inspire listeners of all ages across the Palestinian Territories and beyond.
Besides providing entertainment and a platform for debate, the vision of the station is multifold: to improve women’s connection with the outside world, overcome the lack of information available, exchange dialogue between those separated by walls or checkpoints and engage men on the subject of women’s rights.
Through Facebook and other brands of social media, Nisaa is also enabling its female listeners to contribute to the content of the broadcasts, making them media producers rather than just media consumers. “We’re adding a brand new dimension to the radio environment in Palestine,” explained Nisaa FM director, Maysoun Odeh Gangat. “It’s motivating women through success stories and interaction, while at the same time creating employment, particularly for women. We are also planning to introduce training on broadcasting techniques and journalism as a way to enhance their professional participation in the field of information and communication.”
Yann Borgstedt, founder of the Smiling Children Foundation — Radio Nisaa’s principal partner — said their goal is to make Nisaa FM, “the best radio in its genre, fully independent and financially sustainable, within three years,” adding: “We’re proud to accompany this pioneer project during its first steps.”
But can a specialised women’s radio station bring about real change? “Yes, it certainly can,” replied Antonella Notari Vischer, the director of Smiling Children. “If it can get women to speak out, shout, whisper, sing, tell their stories, listen to each other and hear each other… it can help make women’s plans come true. It can give them access to information and knowledge and it can create a community beyond borders.”
Contact: Nisaa Radio,
Al Qasr building, 2nd floor,
Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine
Telephone: +970 2 295 1983
Nisreen Awward presents the
morning show. Photo: copyright Matthew Bell
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