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ASBU Review celebrates 50th anniversary in special Iissue


This issue of the Arab Radio Review «Majallat al-Itha’at al-‘arabiya» is dedicated to celebrating the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) establishment 50 years ago in Khartoum. The Review offers readers a selection of articles and reports, written by the former ASBU General Directors, to review the milestones ASBU went through ever since its foundation.

The first article features the historical testimony of Professor “Mohamed Ali Chamu”, who presided the founding meeting that led to establishing the ASBU General Assembly.
First decade (1969-1979) in Egypt:
ASBU’s first decade of life in Cairo, directed by Secretary General Salah Abdelkader, was characterized by the establishment of the executive, legislative and structural bodies providing work requirements and enabling goals fulfillment.

The second decade’s most important features were the ASBU headquarters transfer from Cairo to Tunisia in 1979 (due to exceptional circumstances in the Arab region) and Professor Abdullah Shakroun’s selection. The latter rebuild ASBU from scratch, and focusing on developing work mechanisms and methodologies, launching news and program exchanges and acquiring major sports events rights.
My Story with ASBU is the title of Professor Raouf Basti’s feature, which shed the light on the three achievements ASBU managed to gain namely restoring confidence of its member corporations, keeping ASBU as an independent professional organization and adopting self-financing system since 1996.

ASBU: Meeting Challenges and Taking Initiative:An article written by Professor Abdelhafidh Herguam, in which he highlighted the main reforms and action plans he took during his eight-years mandate, including paving the way for private channels to join ASBU, acquiring sports broadcasting rights, adding the professional Discussion to the general assemblies and launching the VSAT radio exchange system.

As for the article written by Salah Eddine Maaoui “50 Years of Achievements, Development and Success” , it mainly tackled four challenges he met during his two four-year mandates, among which we can mention the establishment of a multi-media exchange system and services (Menos), acquiring more sports broadcasting rights despite fierce competition, drafting the radio and television broadcasting principles document in the Arab region, pushing ahead the training activity, in addition to preparing a strategic study on the prospects for developing ASBU performance and orientations and strengthening international cooperation and partnership.
The special section concludes with two articles. The first one is authored by Eng. Abdelrahim Suleiman, ASBU’s current Director-General, for which he chose the title: "On the Path of Continuity". It highlights on the quantitative and qualitative developments in various fields during the four years leading to the 50th anniversary. He mostly stressed the high spirit guiding all officials of member corporations and helping ASBU take courageous steps and achieve impressive results on the path of becoming an “Arab house of expertise”, including:

- News and program exchange,
- Coverage of sports major events, despite the reigning fierce competition, with special mention of the historic decision taken by    Arab information ministers to protect the Arab citizen’s right to follow unscrambled sports coverage .
- Coverage of major events in the Arab region and abroad, including Pilgrimage Coverage)
- ASBU Radio & TV Festival
- Promote Arab and international co-production.
- Establishment of the ASBU Media Training Academy

He also stressed ASBU technological systems development and new media committee establishment.
The second article is contributed by Dr. Riadh Najm, an engineering and media expert, entitled "Fifty Years of Engineering Achievements". Were also reviewed the different steps ASBU has made in developing its communication systems and their positive impact on meeting ASBU’s media, technical and artistic missions to the benefit of member corporations.