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#mediadev

Passing the time with radio and TV

Read about the daily routine of a Palestinian widow who spends much of her time listening to radio and watching TV. It's part of our #mediadev series on people consuming media around the world.

Kawkab Qadri lives a quiet life of routine. The 79-year-old widow wakes up every day around 6am for the Muslim dawn prayer. She then prepares a light breakfast, turning on her old radio set to listen to the morning news bulletins.

“I have radios everywhere in my home,” says Qadri with a smile. “There is a built-in radio in my bed and another built-in radio in my living room buffet.” Qadri uses a small portable radio while she is in the kitchen.

Qadri, who lives in the West Bank city of Nablus, loves listening to the morning programs and old Arab songs on the radio while doing housework. Now that her four children are grown and have moved out, this doesn't take too long.

In her free time, mainly in the afternoon, she prefers to watch television in her living room. She regularly watches Turkish and Egyptian drama series in the evenings and otherwise likes religious programs, cooking shows and wildlife documentaries.

But she is also interested in local news – something that is hardly surprising given the volatile situation in Palestine in the past decades.

“The news about my homeland is the most important. I have many relatives and friends here so I feel it’s important to check the local news every day because it might affect them somehow.”

Kawkab Qadri sitting in her living room watching television

"I feel it’s important to check the local news every day"


Although she is not that interested in politics and rights issues, Qadri is aware that there are limitations to freedom of speech in Palestine.

“The news presenter is afraid of talking about some issues, especially politics,” she says, adding that her most trusted source of information is Al Jazeera TV – the most popular news channel in the Arab world.

She remembers back to decades ago when people used to gather in someone's house to watch the only television channel in her region. At that time, television was seen as miracle. “I remember one of my friends decided to dress up before going to watch TV, thinking that people shown on TV could also see us!” says Qadri laughing.

Qadri spends around six to seven hours a day on television and radio – a habit that doesn't cost her anything other than for electricity and batteries.

Qadri loves both the radio and television since they are easy to use, unlike the Internet. Perhaps because of her age and her limited educational background (she left school in the seventh grade after her family was forcibly displaced from the destroyed Palestinian town of Beesan), Qadri doesn't go online, except to Skype.

“I only use Skype on my simple mobile to communicate with some relatives living outside of Palestine. I was taught how to use it in a very basic way and I have managed to call with it,” she says.

Though she wishes the Internet had been invented earlier so she would have learned how to use it.

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