Alhurra Television was the first to report that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down and transfer power to the Egyptian army. Yesterday at 9:34 a.m. (EST), Alhurra Television’s Cairo Bureau Chief Tarek El Shamy went on the air live and reported that official sources close to the Egyptian government were saying the Egyptian President would transfer all of his presidential powers to the Egyptian army. Although Mubarak disappointed protesters by not resigning last night, Alhurra broadcast Vice President Suleiman’s announcement regarding Mubarak’s resignation live this morning at 11:05 a.m. (EST).
Immediately following the resignation of Mubarak, Alhurra interviewed Egyptian opposition leaders and analysts. They expressed their jubilation and looked ahead at the next steps for this important country in the Middle East.
Abu Alila Madi, co-founder of the Wasat Party proclaimed, “All Egyptians are full of happiness and joy … This is a lesson to all dictatorships. The will of Egyptians has won. But there are more difficult challenges ahead of us.”
Moustafa Alnajar, one of the leading coordinators of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square stated, “This is a victory to the will of all Egyptian people. Congratulations to Egyptians for this victory. Next, there should be an objective discussion regarding the formation of a new government.”
Today’s coverage marks the 18th day of Alhurra’s live continuous coverage of the protests in Egypt. The network’s team of journalists are on the ground reporting from Cairo and Alexandria, providing viewers the latest headlines, as well as the personal stories of protesters who were calling for a change in power. Viewers heard firsthand accounts of protesters whose unwavering resolve brought about a historic change in Egypt. One such account was the family of Rami Gamal Shafik Ahmed. Rami was killed during clashes with pro-Mubarak demonstrators, yet his family refused to leave Tahrir Square so his death would not be in vain.
“Alhurra has been on top of this story from the beginning with a team of dedicated and professional journalists in Egypt and across the Middle East,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. “Alhurra will continue to cover this story closely as Egypt moves forward after 30 years of rule by Mubarak.”
Alhurra’s comprehensive coverage of the demonstrations in Egypt goes beyond Cairo and includes reaction from the U.S. as well as around the world. The network consistently reports on the U.S. response to the daily events in Egypt through its correspondents at State Department, White House, Congress and the Pentagon. The network is also providing insight and analysis from American experts on the Middle East, such as Michele Dunne, Elliot Abrams, David Makovsky and Amb. Martin Indyk.
Using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Alhurra is connecting Egypt with the rest of the Arab world, including a daily segment within its prime-time newscast highlighting comments posted on Alhurra’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/alhurra). These social media outlets demonstrate that the Egyptian audiences want to engage with the world.
According to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Alhurra has consistently had a weekly reach of approximately 25 million for the past three years. The most recent survey done by ACNielsen in Egypt show that Alhurra has a weekly reach of 7.5 percent. That is larger than all of the other non-indigenous Arabic-language new channels (including BBC Arabic, Russia Today, Deutsche Welle and France24) combined and nearly doubled the audience of Hezbollah’s Al Manar in Egypt.
Alhurra is broadcast on the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites in the Middle East and the Hotbird satellite system in Europe. Alhurra is operated by the non-profit corporation The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency. The BBG serves oversight and as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters. For more information on Alhurra go to www.alhurra.com
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.