Starting in November, Deutsche Welle will broadcast six new episodes of television talk show The New Arab Debates - in English and for the first time in Arabic. The show is produced in Cairo and Tunis.
The talk show, whose episodes run for approximately one hour each, features ex-BBC presenter Tim Sebastian and involves audience participation. Starting in November, it will air every six weeks on Wednesday and Thursday. Tim Sebastian, founder of BBC program Hardtalk, developed the concept for the program himself and will host the English version as well as supervise the production of the Arabic edition, which will be moderated by Egyptian TV journalist Mai El Sherbiny.
Each episode will focus on one current affairs topic from the Arab world. The show will invite two guests to comment on their different positions before they answer the host’s questions. The audience will then have the opportunity to join the discussion and ask the guests questions. An opinion poll will be carried out among the audience at the start and at the end of each episode to explore the impact of the studio debate.
Deutsche Welle’s Managing Director Multimedia Global Christoph Lanz views The New Arab Debates as a format "that encourages political participation and can promote democratic debate in the Arab world. At the same time, the show helps viewers in the Western world understand these debates better and allows them to see how controversial the discussions about freedom, democracy and religious issues are."
The New Arab Debates will be produced by Tim Sebastian's company, International Talk Network Limited. Deutsche Welle will provide both technical and editorial support. "Deutsche Welle enjoys high credibility in the Arab world and its programs reach viewers around the globe," commented Sebastian.
From Wednesday, November 7, 2012, The New Arab Debates will air every six weeks on the following DW television channels (all times provided in UTC).
DW: Wednesday at 03:00 and 15:00, as well as Thursday at 10:00
DW (Europe): Wednesday at 17:00
DW (Arabia): Wednesday at 11:00
DW (Arabia): Wednesday at 21:00 and Thursday at 19:00