EU, UNESCO Make Donation to Farah Al Nas Radio Station


The Jordan Times
By Camille Dupire

AMMAN — The efforts of local community radio station Farah Al Nas in tackling political, social and developmental issues related to youth and women on Monday were celebrated through an equipment donation by the European Union and the UNESCO Amman Office.

As part of their efforts to support Jordan’s efforts in advancing the role of the media to further increase its freedom, independence and professionalism, the EU and UNESCO have been conducting the "Support to Media in Jordan" project since 2014, in collaboration with the Ministry of State for Media Affairs and the media sector.

Head of cooperation at the EU delegation Ibrahim Laafia said at the event: "The European Union values support to media as a key development and advocacy actor. We support media in Jordan in different spheres and we recognise the role media plays in promoting a democratic debate, strengthening inclusive development and diversity and enhancing community engagement."

Launched in May 2008 and run by Jordanian youth, Farah Al Nas ("Joy of the People" in Arabic) broadcasts a diverse range of locally and nationally produced programmes, both music and spoken word, according to its website.

Broadcasted at 98.5 FM, the station is run from the Princess Basma Youth Resource Centre (PBYRC) in a lower-income area of Amman.

The ceremony, which was held in the presence of EU, UNESCO and Jordanian officials, celebrated the donation of brand new microphones, a digital mixer, a transmitter, among other equipment.

Guests were offered a guided tour of the radio station, where the staff presented the new equipment, outlining the ways in which it has facilitated their work at Farah Al Nas.

In addition to the high-tech equipment, UNESCO and the EU have provided Farah Al Nas staff with training aimed at "supporting the production of good quality radio programmes and at raising the next generation of media leaders", a UNESCO official said.

Deputy executive director of the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), Mohammed Al Amoush commended the ongoing cooperation of the EU and the UNESCO Amman office, stating “The support we have received has not been limited to upgrading the equipment, but also includes capacity development. We are now bringing radio closer to the community it serves through programme production and reaching out to listeners by establishing the Farah Al Nas listeners’ club”. 

After the tour of the station, UNESCO associate project officer, Hanadi Gharaibeh, participated in a live interview on 98.5FM, where she discussed the critical importance of encouraging community radio stations in Jordan.

Highlighting UNESCO’s leading role in promoting freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information, she commended the strong partnership with the EU in Jordan, which "has been providing an unwavering support."

The donation to Farah Al Nas Radio Station came as part of a 1.5 million euro contribution to several universities and local radio stations, which aim to "improve the ability of beneficiaries to provide high-quality media content", according to a UNESCO statement.