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Saudi to Launch First Channel Geared to People with Special Needs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jeddah, Asharq Al Awsat- The first satellite channel dedicated solely to people with special needs will be launched earlier this September. It plans to focus on the issues and concerns of people with special needs in the Arab world and the concerns of those around them such as friends and family. The channel will go by the name of “Humanity”, and will be broadcast from Riyadh via NileSat.

Its name is a nod to its host country the Kingdom of Humanity, Saudi Arabia and the King of Humanity, HRH Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, says the channel’s media advisor, Abdul Rahman Al-Falag.

“We came up with this when we realized that the Arab World generally lacks ideas of this nature for people with special needs, no matter what their disabilities were,” said Al-Falag to Asharq Alawsat. “We began the project about seven months ago with support from the Ministry of Information, various satellite channels such as ESC [Egyptian Satellite Channel] and LBC [Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation] and associations for the disabled at a local and regional level. We also received moral and financial support from UNICEF [The United Nations Children’s Fund], which has expressed to us its admiration for such a channel.”

It is a nonprofit channel, say its coordinators, with the goal of creating “One Society,” which also happens to be their slogan. Also among its goals is raising awareness by showing various programs and discussing a number of issues pertaining to the disabled, along with news and entertainment shows. A sign language service will be accompanying all shows and will be playing at all times.

The channel hopes to foster a sense of responsibility and solidarity within society, while also fostering potential talents among the disabled by providing them with a secure venue on which to unleash their creativity.

Al-Falag describes the channel as an open forum for those with special needs, where they can freely express their points of view, concerns, issues, and engage in positive interactions with the society around them.

It does not stop there. Says Al-Falag: “The channel made sure to recruit a staff of presenters and hosts who are themselves among the disabled, while others will be working behind the scenes as producers and directors.”