Moroccan cultural programme anchor, Hicham El Aboudi confirmed to "Arabstoday" that Arab TV viewers were very selective and can’t be affected with the bad media.
We sat down for an interview with El Aboudi, who is also the head of the Moroccan Center for Arts and Culture:
AT: Firstly, why have you chosen cultural programmes?
El Aboudi: I think that cultural programmes chose me. I was always a fan of Arabic literature. What I want is to share my interests with my fans. For these reasons, I found myself presenting cultural programmes in the second channel of Morocco TV, such as ‘Diwan’.
AT: How do you evaluate ‘Diwan’, what have you achieved, and what do you want to achieve later?
El Aboudi: ‘Diwan' was a special experience in the Moroccan TV and in my career too. When I decided to start it, people thought I was just crazy to present such a program with the low literacy rate in Morocco, and poor viewing of cultural programmes. However, the result surprised me, as the program had a lot of fans in a short period. Although the programme broadcasts at late night, it has a lot of fans, not only in Morocco, but in many Arab countries, such as Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Syria. For me this is an evidence of the programme success.
AT: What did you find from the programme's success?
El Aboudi: I think, we have mistaken Moroccan and Arab TV viewers. We used to think that they were attracted to bad media, but the truth is, when you present them with bad media, they ignore you, and keep looking for a programme that respects their mind.
AT: In your point of view, don’t you think presenting a cultural programme is an upstream experience, especially in Morocco?
El Aboudi: On the contrary, in reference to what I’ve just said in the previous question, I think ‘Diwan’ was a personal challenge to prove the opposite of what is known about the Moroccan TV viewers. But the truth is, Moroccan audiences keep looking for programmes that respect their intellect. To be sure, you can follow the discussions on social networking sites, which criticise programmes that don’t respect the viewer’s minds and the Moroccan intelligence.
AT: So, in your opinion, what is the reason of lack of cultural programmes in the Moroccan TV?
El Aboudi: We can not separate the case of Moroccan TV from the state of culture in Morocco. I think the lack of cultural programmes is not due to lack of audience for such programs. But the reason in my opinion, is the lack of interest of officials in the Moroccan media, whether in radio or TV, because the entertainment programmes are more profitable, and they do not care about the real profits they can get by cultural programmes such as social and cultural practices.
AT: Do you intend to continue with this?
El Aboudi: After presenting several cultural programmes in Moroccan TV, such as ‘Diwan’ and ‘Spirit of citizenship', along with the supervision of several programmes, such as ‘Arteries of The Earth’ and one about Moroccan women, I’m preparing with my team to present a new project entitled ‘Paths of the Spirit’.
AT: Could you give the Arabstoday’s reader a glance?
El Aboudi: ‘Paths of the Spirit’ is about humans, where we will present some unique experiences along with choosing some spiritual and historical figures to talk about. We are going to present some self-improvement methods.
AT: What would like to say to Arabs Today’s readers?
El Aboudi: I hope they watch ‘Paths of the Spirit’, and I hope it could be helpful to them.