In an unprecedented collaboration between Saudi and Egyptian media, Saudi TV anchor Mohammed Al-Mahya read the news on Sunday in a broadcast on state-owned TV channel Nile TV.
This is the first time a foreign anchor has made an appearance on an Egyptian state-owned TV channel. Al-Mahya gave the broadcast wearing the formal dress of the Saudi kingdom, which caused controversy on social media networks.
According to the Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh, the initiative was undertaken in the light of the interaction and cooperation between Egyptian and Saudi media figures.
Speaking to the privately owned Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, Amr El-Shennawy, head of the Nile TV channel said that the initiative was taken to execute the protocol between the Egyptian and Saudi media, adding that this broadcast was a trial.
Former state-owned TV anchor Azza El-Hennawy commented to Daily News Egypt that what happened was unacceptable, and Saudi anchors cannot be on state-owned television.
“As if giving Saudi Arabia our islands is not enough, we are slowly coming under their rule and blatant control,” she added.
El-Hennawy also said state-owned TV is considered a matter of “national security”. Having a Saudi TV anchor within this institution means that Egypt is “officially occupied” by Saudi Arabia, she said.
“I really blame the employees at Maspero for what happened. They should have strongly opposed this move,” El-Hennawy said, however stating that the leaders in Maspero will never oppose this decision because they only follow orders from state leaders.
“Egypt is not yet free from being dictated to by western countries. Will Saudi Arabia also intervene in our internal affairs?” she concluded.
The protocol between Egypt and Saudi Arabia was signed on 8 April 2016 by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) and its Saudi counterpart.
According to the former head of ERTU Essam Al-Amir, it is important for the two institutions to cooperate in the next period to enhance the relations between the two countries