I posted here some time back that Saudi was issuing 4 FM frequencies on a ‘Private basis. Well, you can read about it now.

It takes little imagination to understand the politics (or more like maneuvering) behind this, but the number of folk who asked me how I knew about this and completely dismissed it as my fantasy somewhat belittles my existence. Personally, I think it is the most positive move I have encountered in this area and hopefully will start some sort of avalanche throughout the region. I am not going to say how I knew, but enough to tell you that I know one very savvy guy involved.

Of course, it has yet to be seen just how professional the stations will be – or should we say -‘perceived as professional’.  I am not sure on this front, because I do know that it could take us by surprise. Like Radio Bahrain’s new offering, nobody expects the likes of the BBC standards because it is just not in the make up of the area. No, not the BBC, not XFM, not KISS, not Virgin (bless them) not anything like you might hear elsewhere.  The answer will be; ‘In keeping with the culture and rigid religious framework – what YOU perceive as professional in the West is not what WE perceive here’. That is just clichéd rapport and a ‘believed’ excuse from incompetence that is allowed to be involved or run such projects.  Of course it is no excuse at all.  Believe it, Bahrain has restrictions, but a lot less than other states, so it will be very interesting to see or hear, what is about to happen in Saudi.  If it is anything like MBC/Panorama, then we are in for NOTHING, other than their astounding monopoly broken.


We will hear it in Bahrain (albeit Arabic) and I can tell you now, it is not a Koran channel.  The misconception which leads to incredible ‘self censoring’ which makes everything so bland, is the assumption that there are restrictions – yet there are NOT!!  In general, it is pretty easy in Bahrain and sometimes more easy than say UK or the States for example where everyone is lawyered up so you cannot say anything at all other than get away with obnoxious filth most of the time.  There are barriers but there is some imaginary, very wobbly thin line which is occasionally and unsuspectingly crossed, but one would be pretty stupid to come here and start your outrageous tactics to gain publicity.  By just being yourself and not attacking something for no reason, then nobody upstairs will bother you much, plus the hierarchy here is considerably intelligent and not at all small minded.  But the limits of ‘outrageous’ seems to be making chicken noises all morning on the breakfast show and wearing painfully coloured shirts which is probably thought of as funny  to much of the community here. This will gain you immense attraction, especially if you are a very nice guy.  I don’t say publicity because it is not, but it would get you a gig at every supermarket promotion, Rotary or sports event, weddings, clubs and no doubt even bar mitzvahs if we had such things.


Did you come here for the life style or the money?  Believe or not, groups or organizers used to make a point of booking me in the hope that I would insult the audience.  They still do! However, when I did take the piss out of something and the house fell down laughing, they couldn’t handle the complaints afterwards. Actually, I do not insult anyone, ever!  Unless you come at me that is.  Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, or so ‘they’ say and  I am definitely very high up the lowest life form.

But there are limits and no doubt I cross them more by nagging and coming in those people’s faces,  highlighting issues rather than what I actually say. This keeps me off the airways now, but really, as much as many think, it has NOTHING to do with the hierarchy here. It is far far far far below that. I’ve been suspended for swearing at the brainless security guards for pointing guns and lifting a colleague news reader of 13 years on the job, off the ground and carrying her out of the complex because another insidiously jealous colleague falsely reported her as an intruder. Later I was again suspended having been accused by the same corrosive individual, that I had raped her in the news room in front of 25 men. Well that is what my late boss Ahmed Suleiman  told me as he cried his eyes out in dejection as he explained there was nothing he could do as the outcome would be as it always will be; ‘remove the result of the problem, not the source’. He truly loved me and I had a lot of time for him as our private sessions would reveal. A clever man, highly intelligent, but a rather unavoidably weak Palestinian who talked more than me added to everyone else in the world. Some feat, but a good good man who wanted me on his radio and subliminally stood by me for my skills   Oh!  It is all true and a long long story. I wish he were here now to  listen to his take on things. I even hit him hard with my often adverse opinions about the issues going on around his birth place, but he just calmly explained his stance  and natural take on it without being vicious or threatening, which he could easily have been. For example, to knock Palestine around here would receive much sympathy in the privacy of friends and countrymen, but to openly say something is just not ‘kosher’. Even when I produced what turned out to be an incredibly successful 6 part series “BUSINESS IN KUWAIT AFTER THE STORM”  for DHL, which contained a lot of adverse comment mentioning the removal of Palestinians from Kuwait and other Gulf countries; the only bit he removed was the mention of how cruel the Iraqi soldiers were to the Elephant in Kuwait zoo.  I never quiet understood that.

If I spoke Arabic well, without an English accent, do you think they would take me on Saudi radio?  No but, we are constantly bombarded with English everywhere with heavy Arabic accents and that is deemed ok. Actually, I am known more for direction and content now and ruling with a firm hand behind the scenes.  I am not very tolerant of amateur presentation and programming, so really these stations needs someone of my calibre cracking the whip. What is it they say when something doesn’t bear fruits?  Um.. Er!   .. Ughhhh!    Would that be ‘FRUITLESS’?


5 Responses to “SAUDI A GO-GO – UNVEILED”

  1. Khalid Izzeldin on January 31st, 2010 4:16 pm

    We’ll never see the kind of radio you gave us a glimpse of any time soon. It seems that the ball and chain are there even if only perceived, and the person crackling the whip is certainly not you. I really do believe that what is “acceptable” has muzzled a lot of creative voices. Some even chose to go down a completely different road for a profession that is totally separate from any talent that they have in the field. It’s all for money now.
    I’m still waiting to see when (if ever) they’ll get around to paying the royalties due on the music they air “freely” with their commercials. When that happens, at least i’ll sense some integrity in their “moral” position on what should be aired and what not.
    Anyway, with my 6DVD MP3 changer (available for almost all models of cars) in the car and my sattelite channels at home, why would i listen to radio? I would only listen to radio to be entertained, and i am not entertained by being patronized. and i am not gonna waste my time listening to someone who has no character or has a bad accent (any accent, unless it’s really hillarious and is intended to be, i.e. character). I don’t want to hear politically correct, if i did, i’d turn on any news channel. Why do people watch Fox? because it’s news with an attitude problem, news with an opinion, and you could hate them, laugh at them, or agree with them, but you only turn to them if you want something different from the bland standard. All respect to BBC, CNN, and AlJazeera, but when i want spicy news, i go with Fox. So let’s see, is this going to be another bland homogenous noise wave or not…. hmmmm…

  2. Geg on January 31st, 2010 5:56 pm

    Spot on! Interesting take on it too. Good one bro! You should write the columns.
    Since you mention it: Most ‘Liberals’ (Yeah that is with a BIG L), think that no Muslims watch Fox news. In favour of that is – plenty watch to threaten it. But so do half the luvvies in the rest of the jealous media who control the dumbing down agenda which we all endure. They don’t come much more Muslim than you and here you go, spelling out the reality. I think you have been mixing in some very opinionated, slightly infidel circles- influencing you to the good. Now I wonder who that could be??? More tea Vicar?

    As I have been advocating for years, ‘FORGET all that’!! Watch the performance. Each presenter goes for it and I can assure you that not all of them are Conservative. Greta Vanny changes with the salary. Now you have the BBC World trying to catch up with Laurel & Hardy type two header presentations, as with CNN and it is amateur, chronic, pathetic… yuck…. Drop it!! To be entertaining, you have to have an opinion, NOT AN AGENDA, or more accurately, ‘something to say openly’. Sure, it pisses a few off if you don’t happen to think the Bill O’Reilly way, but without question it is entertaining to watch over your coffee. Plus as a registered perv, just look at all those lovelies.. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t!

    Even some of my close family thinks I’m half fascist because I watch Fox News. I say it has NOTHING to do with that, it is just simply better television for that particular type of broadcast. Almost 60% of America watch it too; more than all the others added up, but they aint all Bill O’Reillys hard core. It seems more who apparently hate it, watch it, than those who love it! Now that was my audience figures while I was on radio here. Or so they tell me.

    It is just clichéd rhetoric ad nauseam from the mouths of the registered ‘L’s at the mention of FOX (or Geggyboy – not that I am in the Fox league), or just having your own opinion which doesn’t go along with theirs. Off the cuff, I mentioned on Face Book much the same about the presentation standards on FOX… OMG!!!!!! “You were joking weren’t you GEG?’ “So funny Geg, I can’t imagine you watching that shit!” to removing me as a friend.

    Just heard that the second round of licenses are up in Saudi now and the same folk got it. Ugh!!!!!??????

  3. Karen on February 1st, 2010 8:15 am

    Fox isn’t news, it’s alarmist entertainment. I’m all for people being able to say what they want to say but to present questionable opinions as facts, that’s retarded.

    Were you seriously surprised about the licences? You know it’s everyone for themselves out in the Gulf…no matter Muslim majority countries are lagging behind in almost everything, sorry to say (as a Muslim myself).

  4. Kathleen Campbell on April 27th, 2010 1:57 am

    Yes, Ahmed loved you the best. But I was second.

  5. Geg on April 27th, 2010 3:03 pm

    Kaaaaaaaaattttt!!! Isn’t that a tad tooooo much information? I didn’t know you knew him!

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