The radio as a form of redemption for young Palestinians. It is all happening in Dheisheh refugee camp, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, on the West Bank, an ‘inferno ‘ where 15,000 people live hedged in a kilometre square area. It is here that next month Shoruq Radio Online will start its first broadcasting transmission, a project that has been carried out by three boys and three girls, who narrate about life in the camp and who will give voice to the inhabitants “across the West Bank and even beyond its boundaries,” according to the Hisham al-Alham Coordinator. To speak about the initiative , is Adn Kronos on a a special edition.
Just like Radio London which had started in September 27, 1938 a way to counter the Nazi propaganda, with programmes broadcasted by the BBC English and addressed to the European continent, the Palestinian experiment can be a way to foster people’s efforts to gain recognition.
The radio, funded by ‘ Mecca Production ‘ (company based in California) and Undp, is an offshoot of the Shoruq group, an organization created in 2012 in Dheisheh to”defend and protect the inalienable rights of the Palestinians” through a series of programmes, one of which is related to the media, as can be read on the site of the group.
“The name of the radio maybe could change, for now it’s Shoruq, however we are ready to begin broadcasting,” says the 25-year-old al-Alham to Aki-Adnkronos International in the building that houses the radio. Everything is in its place, from the mixer to the recording studio. “The goal of the radio? We want to inform what life is like in a refugee camp and about all political and social problems, “says the young man.
The schedule has already been defined. The morning programme will host seniors who will narrate what it was like living there before the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948, when about 700,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes and cross the borders of the newly-born State of Israel.
“There will be news, with information gathered from all refugee camps across the West Bank, as well as programmess for children, including discussions on current events and politics,” says Alham al, whose dream is to one day run “a TV or newspaper”.
“We want to give voice to the Palestinians, but of course we cannot ignore the politics in this country,” said the Director of the Shoruq group, Hazem al-Qassas, speaking just a few feet away from the seat of the radio to be inaugurated. Al-Qassas said he had no confidence in the current Palestinian leader, but the real problem-he says-“is that you can’t see aything new on the horizon”. Politics and weapons do not solve the problems of the Palestinians, he said, but “we are working to change the future.”
Translation provided by Marina Stronati