MBN: Alhurra TV + Radio Sawa

Alhurra TV, Radio Sawa Highlights

2012 Highlights

“Radio Sawa’s…innovative format, mixing popular music and public affairs, made an immediate impact in the region when it was launched…  Its enduring popularity is a testimony to the professionalism and commitment of the entire staff”  – Sec. Hillary Clinton, on the 10th anniversary of Radio Sawa, Feb. 29, 2012Egypt

As Egypt held its first democratic presidential elections, Alhurra partnered with the most popular television network in Egypt, Al Hayat TV, to produce The President—Egypt 2012, an eight-part special series that included in-depth interviews with candidates. On Election Day, correspondents crisscrossed the country from 11 key cities to report on the voting and vital issues driving voters to the polls.

Alhurra also took to the streets of Egypt, launching Rayheen ala Feen? (Where Are We Going?), which provides personal perspective from young Egyptians, and Street Pulse, which looks at cultural and social issues.


When violence broke out across the region following the release of an anti-Islam YouTube video, Alhurra brought perspective to the issue through interviews with American officials and experts, including Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine.

Radio Sawa expanded its reach in Libya by adding FM transmitters in Libya’s largest cities.


Alhurra covered a broad range of issues related to Syria’s civil war that have included discussions of the impact of the fighting on women, refugees and media. Alhurra also had reporting from Homs in March and Aleppo and Idlib in August 2012—where fighting was at its worst.


Alhurra and Radio Sawa continue to be a leading source of news in Iraq reaching nearly 12 million adults each week with in-depth local newscasts and programming. Radio Sawa is the most popular radio broadcaster in Iraq and Alhurra is among Iraqis’ top-ten most important TV sources for news.

Israel/Palestinian Territories

“Our judges said the importance of this story is immense. By hearing from both sides, and from witnesses, this well-presented story took courage and understanding to produce.”  – Association for International Broadcasting, Nov. 7, 2012 on Afia Darfur’s report on violence in Kabkabiya, Sudan

When fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas, Alhurra was there to show both sides of this situation with reporters in Jerusalem, Kiryat Malachi, Sedrot, West Bank and Gaza. The network gave a voice to the Israeli position not seen on other Arabic-language channels and highlighted the devastation hitting Israeli and Palestinian citizens.

United States

Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided comprehensive coverage of the 2012 Presidential election. As a part of that coverage, Alhurra and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions produced The Making of Democracy. The documentary provided a behind-the-scenes look at the 2012 elections through stories of candidates, U.S. citizens, Arab Americans, and others involved in local and national races.


MBN produces a daily Arabic-language all news and information program, Afia Darfur. Broadcasting on shortwave radio, Afia Darfur focuses on the latest news from Sudan and the plight of displaced people in Darfur and eastern Chad.

2011 Highlights

  • Despite death threats, restrictions on Internet access and other major challenges, Alhurra broadcast exhaustive coverage of the historic year in Egypt.
  • At times, because of their courage and ingenuity, Alhurra correspondents were the only Arab-language journalists to continue broadcasting live from Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution.
  • According to a telephone poll, 25 percent of Egyptian respondents in Alexandria and Cairo were watching Alhurra to follow the events in January Egyptian Revolution.
  • As with other media outlets, the Syrian regime denied Alhurra permission for an in-country correspondent.  To compensate, it has drawn extensively on eyewitness accounts including YouTube, cell phone and other videos as well as telephone interviews with demonstrators.
  • In spite of press restrictions and jamming of the network, Alhurra provided live coverage of the clashes in Libya for as many as 20 hours a day including viewer reports by phone and images sent through Facebook and YouTube.
  • In October, Radio Sawa started broadcasting for the first time on FM to the city of Benghazi.
  • Alhurra and Radio Sawa continue to be a leading source of news in Iraq reaching nearly 12 million adults each week with in-depth local newscasts and programming.
  • As the U.S. announced plans to withdrawal troops in Iraq, Alhurra and Radio Sawa broadcast exclusive footage and interviews with Iraqi and American leaders while also providing support to VOA reporters on the ground.
  • Alhurra and Radio Sawa covered the Tunisian Revolution extensively beginning in December 2010 and continuing through Parliamentary elections in October.
  • Alhurra’s Eye on Democracy traveled to Tunisia to produce a number of documentaries on the role of social media, bloggers and Tunisian youth in the revolution.
  • Alhurra’s 9-11 coverage included more than 50 hours of acquired and original programming that explored religious tolerance, coexistence, interfaith dialogue and mutual respect among people of different religions.


  • Alhurra’s coverage won the People’s Choice Award from the Association for International Broadcasting for the best international broadcast coverage of the democratic uprisings and the Arab Spring for its coverage of the Egyptian Revolution.
  • New York Festivals® International Radio Program named Sawa Magazine a finalist for its report on a movement using the Internet to raise awareness about oppression of women in the Arab World.
  • Alhurra’s Al Youm was named a finalist of New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards in the human interest category for its examination of child labor abuses in Egypt.
  • Radio Sawa’s The Free Zone was named a finalist for the New York Festivals International Radio Program and Promotions Awards in the human interest category for its examination of child marriage and forced divorce in Saudi Arabia.
  • Alhurra’s original documentary, Konoungo: The Darfurian Exile, profiling the humanitarian crisis facing Darfurian refugees, received top billing at the third annual Cairo Human Rights Film Festival.
  • The Kulwathe Cultural Forum awarded Alhurra for the best political and cultural talk shows and named Falah El-Thahabi best male journalist and Rafal Mahdi best female correspondent.
  • Correspondent Ahmad Arram was given the “Courage in Journalism” Award by the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Iraq for his TV reporting on alleged fraudulent land deals by the Iraqi government.
  • The Pan Arab Web Awards Academy awarded Radio Sawa first prize for website excellence in the Media-TV and Radio category.

2010 Highlights

  • The Alhurra documentary, Konoungo: The Darfurian Exile, was one of the first Arabic-language programs to give viewers an inside look at the lives of displaced Sudanese refugees in Eastern Chad.
  • In 2010, Radio Sawa drew on an expanded number of in-country correspondents and started broadcasting localized newscasts to provide Egyptians with the latest local news and information.
  • Leading up to the Egyptian Parliamentary election, Alhurra launched Hiwar Cairo, a weekly program examining political and social aspects of the country. Comments made on the program were reported extensively by the Egyptian media.
  • Alhurra’s Eye on Democracy traveled to Dubai to produce three special episodes on the demand for constitutional monarchies; how activists are now using social media to organize; and the role of civil society in some Gulf states.
  • Stories with Akram Khuzam is a new weekly investigative series examining social and cultural issues in Arab countries such as unemployment, child labor, illiteracy, female circumcision and immigration to the West.
  • Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided extensive live coverage of elections in the region, including Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and Bahrain.
  • Alhurra’s FOCUS consists of in-depth news features produced by the award-winning PBS NewsHour, translated into Arabic. Additionally, Almajalla (Magazine) showcases the best in American culture and society, providing viewers insight into the richness and diversity of America.
  • In addition to ongoing U.S. news, Alhurra and Radio Sawa presented comprehensive coverage during the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections.

2009 Highlights

  • In March, Alhurra launched Al Youm, a ground-breaking live new TV show originating simultaneously from Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Jerusalem and Alhurra’s headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. Al Youm tailors the American morning show format to evenings in the Middle East. The three-hour program provides a window to the world through coverage of the latest news from the Middle East, the U.S. and the world; as well as coverage of health, entertainment news, sports, technology, social and cultural issues.
  • Alhurra and Radio Sawa programming surrounding President Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world from Cairo in June included live broadcasts with simultaneous Arabic translation and online news to millions of people throughout the region. Alhurra and Radio Sawa had extensive live coverage along with reportage on the expectations and the significance of the historic speech, and reaction from around the world.
  • Alhurra’s documentary program Americans presented a five-part series on Arab-Americans and their lives in the United States. The series examined their immigration and integration into American society and featured interviews with prominent Arab-Americans.
  • Alhurra and Radio Sawa provided in-depth and extensive coverage of elections in Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania in 2009.
  • The Alhurra website expanded to include more news and information and broadened social media presence with a YouTube channel, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
  • Major media such as AP, Reuters, and Alquds cited Alhurra interviews with world leaders such as Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Libyan leader Mohamar Khaddafi as well as U.S. officials Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.