In war torn Iraq, there will soon be a new radio program for young people, focusing on their lives, hopes and leisure.
With violence and kidnapping a daily occurrence in Baghdad, the station will broadcast from Berlin and the three presenters refuse to be identified or allow themselves to be filmed or photographed.
Broadcasting a mix of Arabic and mainstream western music, Telephone FM will broadcast for 90 minutes each weekday afternoon. With only two kinds of radio broadcasters in Iraq – political/religious mouthpieces or foreign concerns like the BBC and Radio France – young Iraqis say there is nothing modern, open or liberated for them.
The German Foreign Ministry is supporting the venture, which will operate from a huge loft in the centre of Berlin and has been transformed into a modern studio. Two Palestinians and a dozen Germans will help the three young hosts.
Reports and interviews will be filed/conducted by telephone mostly, then mixed in Berlin, fed onto the internet and sent to one of Baghdad’s rare private stations, Hot FM, for local broadcast.