Sharjah-UAE: 9 August, 2012 – Sharjah Media Centre, the official media entity of the government of Sharjah functioning under the umbrella of Sharjah Media Corporation, held its sixth Ramadan Majlis looking into the history and future of Khaleeji drama amidst a scenario of evolving production, technical and social factors.
Titled ‘Gulf Theater: Between Marginalization and Collapse’, the panel discussion was held on Wednesday 8 August at the Culture Palace in Sharjah.
Hosted by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, and Osama Samra, Director Sharjah Media Centre, the Majlis featured Saad Al Faraj, a Kuwaiti actor, and Ahmed Al Jasmi, an Emirati actor. Marei Al Houlian, an Emirati actor, served as moderator of the panel.
In his opening address, Marei Al Houlian singled out ‘Darb Al Zalaq’ TV series for its profound impact on the Khaleeji drama scene and said its success is yet to be matched by any other production of its genre.
On his part, Al Faraj said he had sought permission from the Ministry of Information in Kuwait to conduct a case study on ‘Darb Al Zalaq’ series to identify the secret behind its phenomenal success. He said that the freedom offered to the media during the era in which ‘Darb Al Zalaq’ was produced served as a key contributor to the success of the series. He also emphasised that the current landscape sees an unfortunate trend of some TV stations broadcasting productions, which defy Arabic customs and traditions and obstruct the advancement of Khaleeji drama.
Stressing that Gulf drama is a union sharing the same culture, Ahmed Al Jasmi said he would prefer not to divide work on the basis of the country of production or the nationality of actors. He expressed his hope to see Gulf States cooperating every year to produce a TV series that is inclusive of the entire Arab community.
Pointing out that Sharjah is a strong advocate of cultural, artistic and theatrical works, Ahmed Al Jasmi said the emirate constantly seeks to promote art through new and innovative productions and strategic initiatives. He also stressed on the necessity for TV stations in the UAE to partner on joint productions in order to share mutual experiences and produce better quality work.
Ahmed Al Jasmi underlined the fact that intense competition in TV production has affected the quality of work. As a way forward, he reiterated the need for TV stations in the Gulf region to step up their effort in local productions. Al Jasmi added that the aim of most emerging actors is to achieve quick fame, which hinders their process of skill development.
In response to a query, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi pointed out that Sharjah TV does not solely focus on drama. Apart from showcasing programmes that benefit the community, it also raises important issues that impact the people of Sharjah. He added that the media, through Sharjah Media Corporation, is a partner in the process of cultural and social development. Its activities are led by Sharjah under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi.
Concluding the event, Osama Samra spoke about his views on Khaleeji theatre and highlighted the obstacles that prevent brilliant theatrical works from gaining a credible audience. Citing the example of Sharjah Theatre Days, he said the event is executed with high accuracy in artistic dialogue, design and lighting that help ensure its success. He additionally said that it was unfortunate that such work is only covered by the press during the event. Samra also invited the media to visit Sharjah Media Centre to gain a better understanding of its goals and mission towards supporting Sharjah’s cultural landscape and serving as a link between the emirate and the local, regional as well as international media.
About Sharjah Media Centre
The Centre represents the main link between the Government of Sharjah and the media on a local, regional and international level. It provides journalists, broadcasters or any other media professionals the opportunity to join as members and benefit from a unique position which allows them a direct and active dialogue with Sharjah’s People and Government officials.
Sharjah Media Centre was established by the Amiri Decree No. 5, 2011, issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The Centre’s role can be summarized as the voice with which the Emirate of Sharjah addresses the world.