United States Agency for Global Media

Press Release

Alhurra opens the door to free speech and freedom of expression

Alhurra Television enhances its roster of programs that encourage critical thinking, honest dialogue and analytic debate with two new shows, Islam Hurr (Arabic for “Free Islam”) and Forbidden.

Hosted by respected Islamic scholar Islam Bheiry, Islam Hurr is a weekly program that focuses on the interpretation of Islam and looking at the positives that can come from religion. Bheiry will discuss modern misconceptions of Islam with well-known Islamic reformers and thinkers. The conversation will shine a light on controversial beliefs and emphasize the values of instilling the language and adaptation of the faith into daily life. Islam Hurr airs on Mondays at 20:05 GMT.

Forbidden, hosted by Lebanese writer and activist Joumana Haddad, highlights the artistic and literary works of controversial voices that have been suppressed in the Middle East. Over the years, many views have been censored for delving into topics that are considered taboo in the region such as government corruption, political and social oppression, religion and social issues. This weekly show provides a platform for silenced intellectual moderate voices and ideas whose work is banned or marginalized in Arab countries. Haddad will interview the people who have had their work banned and discuss how that impacted their lives. Forbidden airs on Thursday at 20:05 GMT.

“These shows are in line with the recently established Alhurra programs Sam and Ammar and Debatable, as a way to showcase enlightened and diverse views on political, cultural, social and religious issues,” stated MBN President Amb. Alberto Fernandez. MBN manages and oversees Alhurra Television. “Islam Hurr and Forbidden provide a platform where people can express themselves without fear of their ideas being censored.”

Islam Hurr and Forbidden are a part of Alhurra’s relaunch earlier this week, that introduced a new line-up of fast-paced, thought-provoking programs that will enlighten and engage viewers. The new programs include extensive reporting from across the region and providing in-depth analysis focusing on topics not found in other Arab media outlets such as social, cultural and religious challenges.

About MBN

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the BBG.

MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language radio network that broadcasts music and news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more than 370 newscasts per week.

Find out more

Contact Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa