Alhurra Co-Produces a Five-Part Documentary Series on the Arab Spring

(Springfield, Va.)—Alhurra Television teams up with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to produce a series of comprehensive documentaries focusing on the revolutions and uprisings that spread across the Middle East in 2011. The premiere episode, Arab Spring: Tunisia will debut on Friday, Dec. 16th, to coincide with the one year anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution.

“Alhurra has been at the forefront of reporting on the Arab Spring, starting in late 2010 and continuing throughout 2011. This co-production with MacNeil/Lehrer takes a look back at the past year and then looks ahead to the future of the region following these historic events,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff.  

Arab Spring: Tunisia starts out in Sidi Bouzid, a small, dusty town in the heart of Tunisia. On Dec. 17, 2010, the town and nation revolted following the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi. The documentary shows how his story struck an echo through a nation and the region. Social media and cell phones took what could have been a very small, local event, and made it viral; spreading the protest contagion throughout the rest of the Arab-speaking nations and the world at large.

Arab Spring: Tunisia examines the impact one man’s actions had on the political leadership of the country. Ultimately, the Tunisian President Ben Ali fled into exile, opening the doors to those who had been banished for decades to return to Tunisian politics.

The second episode of the documentary series, scheduled to premiere in late January, will mark the first anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution. Subsequent episodes will focus on other parts of the region and will be televised in Spring 2012.  Each episode will capture the pulse and sentiment of the people on the street, in the cities, and around the battles that have marked this past year of profound and dramatic change, while seeking insight into the future.

Recent surveys by international research companies such as ACNielsen show that Alhurra has consistently averaged approximately 26 million weekly viewers for the last three years. Alhurra is broadcast on the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites in the Middle East.  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 as oversight and as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.

Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.