Qatar Urdu Radio celebrated its landmark 38th anniversary yesterday in Doha with prominent figures from Urdu-speaking communities of Pakistan, India and the wider South Asian region, and the team of FM 107 radio station. The event was organised by Urdu Radio in collaboration with Qatar Media Corporation (QMC) for the first time to celebrate the history of the radio channel and to highlight its long journey and many achievements.

Gulf Times Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka was the guest of honour. “I am very happy personally to be the guest of honour for the Urdu channel that has completed 38 years today. The Urdu channel represents the Asian communities from all backgrounds, religions and nationalities. These communities form the mosaic of Qatar and they have helped us build Qatar. They are also important for the growth and development of Qatar in the future,” he remarked.
Saif-ur-Rehman, popular radio announcer and host of Urdu Radio spoke about the history of Qatar Urdu Radio at the event.

Saif-ur-Rehman addressing the gathering

He said, “Urdu Radio service was started to keep the expatriates coming from South Asia informed about laws and traditions of Qatar. The service was meant to provide a suitable atmosphere to Urdu speaking expatriates away from their countries in Qatar. Since then, Urdu Radio has been providing authentic information and good entertainment to its listeners. The radio has been presenting programems on almost all subjects and topics.”
“There are 12 people working in Urdu Radio at present. We have been trying our best to present better programmes and improve our services keeping in mind all ages and nationalities.”
He explained that Urdu radio channel was separated from Qatar Radio in December 2015 and was named Qatar Urdu Radio (QUR). The channel currently works under direct supervision of the QMC and celebrated its anniversary for the first time yesterday.

Gulf Times Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka (centre) seen with Saif-ur-Rehman (right) Obaid Tahir (left) at the event. PICTURES: Jayan Orma.

Some of the guests.
Saif-ur-Rehman also gave a brief introduction of his colleagues who have been associated with the channel over the years, and also got emotional while talking about the his long association with radio in Qatar and thanked his staff members for their collaboration.
During an interactive session, al-Mudahka opened the floor for suggestions and asked people to give recommendations for improving Urdu Radio.
In his speech, Faisal Hudawi from the Public Relations department of Ministry of Interior said, “We started our association with Urdu Radio in 2012. We have so far done about 300 programmes with the radio in the programme Police Aur Awaam. The co-operation of the radio has been amazing with the Ministry of Interior in raising awareness among communities about different security, traffic, and civic issues.”
“Our suggestion is to form an advisory committee and share experiences and new programmes with people from Urdu speaking communities of different nationalities. This will help them improve the quality of programmes. I think the radio should also provide a chance to Urdu speaking school students to either sing or share their stories on air.”
Sarfraz Khanzada, a seasoned diplomat and former ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar and Sudan, praised QUR for its programme Haqeeqat.
“Although music is one of the needs of the listeners of radio, information is just as important for people and the show Haqeeqat is doing an amazing job covering political events and keeping us all up to date regarding the siege of Qatar,” Khanzada, who was representing the Pakistani community, said.
S M Bukhari, a long time resident of Qatar and representative of Indian community at the event, suggested that there should be more panel discussions, with increased involvement of youth and women on radio.
“I have been listening to Urdu Service from the days when it was broadcast on the AM station and I must praise their programmes such as Chotti Si Dunya hosted by Obaid Tahir for providing children to share their thoughts and talents on radio,” Bukhari aid.
Furqan Ahmed Paracha, a chemical engineer and member of Pakistani community said, “Radio should arrange some live debates among students in school premises on weekly or bi-weekly bases.”

The female staff of Qatar Urdu Radio.

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