Girl talk on cyber airwaves

Manar Ammar
5 Min Read

CAIRO: A group of 20 Egyptian young women are getting their voices heard and creating a buzz on the waves with the new radio station “Banat w Bas (Girls Only).

“Girls Only is the first online radio station to be run by women for women, by tackling issues that “matter to the Arab girl.

The radio station is the brainchild of Amani El Tunsi, whose disappointment in girls’ mentalities and living conditions today motivated her to come up with the idea and found

“I wanted to reach out to other girls after witnessing how superficial a lot of them have become, only interested in hijab styles and make-up, El Tunsi told Daily News Egypt.

“It seemed that girls don’t work on improving themselves and consider marriage to be the ultimate goal. They think if they are married, they are successful.

Overnight, El Tunsi and her group of friends turned into founders of an initiative that was new to the scene – an all-girl radio station.

“We started out as a group of friends working for free, [and] now have expanded a little and have contributors from other Arab nations, El Tunsi, the 25-year-old computer science graduate, explained.

The online radio station tackles a wide range of topics, from merely expressing frustration at the patriarchal society they live in to fashion.

In “Be Meet Ragel (Equivalent of 100 Men), radio host Lobna Khairy discusses how young women can think and act in a fair manner without being aggressive like men. “The show talks about good examples, girls who don’t use their gender to their advantage, but use their mind, El Tunsi said.

In “Mosh Kol Al-Teir (Not all the Birds) – an Egyptian proverb that means not all girls are easy to fool – listeners learn about the latest tricks men use to deceive women, including the cheesy pickup lines and clichés.

El Tunsi explains that Sameh Dawoud, the host, advices girls on how to distinguish between an authentic heartfelt declaration of love and a phony one, “as well as offers our audience advice on how not to fall for Mr Wrong.

“How to Be a Model is a show dedicated to women wearing the veil, giving them tips and advice on how to be a “Hijab Model. Other programs try to embark on general issues, such as discussing relationships.

Regarding important social issues that suffer neglect, such as sexual harassment, El Tunsi says with confidence that “we support anti-sexual harassment campaigns but will not have a show dedicated to it. She explains that it’s difficult to “just talk about such a topic in a dedicated program.

It is not entirely a woman’s world at “Girls Only. A handful of men bring balance to the station with shows that represent the other opinion.

Mohamed Medhat and Ahmed Soo offer the counter argument to the rest of the station’s programming, with their show “Tayeb Wellad we Bas (Fine! Boys Only).

“They have a response to what we have to say in other programs from a male point of view, El Tunsi explained.

Mostafa Fathy hosts a self-development program called “Let’s Succeed, based on his book with the same name. El Tunsi read the book and “liked it a lot and asked him to join her station.

El Tunsi hopes to make the station interactive while on the air. She also hopes to broadcast on an FM frequency in Egypt.

While going to live broadcasts would change their beat, being safe is better than being off air: “Religion, politics and sex are off limits, added El Tunsi.

“We are not qualified to talk about these issues. As for politics we don’t discuss it but we will discuss its social implications; regarding religion, I wanted the station to be for both Muslims and Christians and I felt we will not be able to present both in the station; and sex, well … we live in a conservative society and talking about sexual issues will give people the wrong idea about us, we would be misunderstood. El Tunsi explained.

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