Gaza Radio Station Gives a Voice to Refugees
On the air since the first week of August, Hawwa radio station in Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip aims to become the voice of Palestinian refugees, and women in particular. It is the product of years of preparation, efforts to find funds and volunteer work. “I first had the idea to start a radio station in 2011, but it took me until 2013 to find the financial means to start online broadcasts,” Bahaa Abed, Hawwa’s director, says. He had no money to pay for an FM broadcast band so he used the internet. Abed saved until he could afford headquarters and equipment, and since Aug. 5, the radio station broadcasts both online and on the air. Hawwa (Eve) is the first radio station that targets women, children and refugees from Nuseirat refugee camp, which has been the home to displaced Palestinians since 1948. Since Hawwa does not follow any specific political movement, it does not receive support from any party, and so the radio station is solely funded by Abed. For now, he said the station will rely on income from commercials. The 20-member team of presenters, talk show hosts and technicians all work as volunteers. Since Nuseirat camp is near several other refugee camps in central Gaza — such as Bureij, Maghazi and Deir el-Balah, Hawwa also aims to cover topics that are important in these camps. Abed noted that he would like Hawwa to be the voice of at least a quarter of a million refugees. Social, political and emotional issues in the refugee camps are high on the agenda of the radio station. Abed believes there are many issues in the camps that are not covered by mainstream media.
(Extracted from al-monitor.com)