BBC Arabic radio attracts Arab youth

BBC Arabic radio has launched an interactive road show of events in five locations across the Arabic-speaking world to encourage young people to debate the key issues which affect their daily lives.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  March 15, 2006

BBC Arabic radio has launched an interactive road show of events in five locations across the Arabic-speaking world designed to involve young people and encourage them to debate the key issues which affect their daily lives and their long-term future. Your future, who decides it? launched in Cairo with interactive booths and conversation-promoting materials at places where young people mingle, such as universities, shopping malls, gyms and coffee shops. On February 20, Cairo University hosted a debate on marriage, which was broadcast live on BBC Arabic radio. The programme has now proceeded to Jordan, Sudan, the West Bank, and Syria urging debate around a range of national and social issues relevant to young people. “We have made several changes to the Arabic service over the past two years which make the output more accessible and appealing to younger people in the Middle East and North Africa,” says Jerry Timmins, regional head, BBC Middle East. “This is the generation that will increasingly expect their news provision to be multimedia, accessible and relevant on a variety of platforms 24 hours a day so we are reaching out to them.” Speaking about the programme, Hosam El Sokkari, head of BBC Arabic service, adds: “Across the Arabic-speaking world, young people are in the majority but usually have a minority voice. This programme ensures we hear that voice. We are taking BBC Arabic to them so we can access their views directly.”

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