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Radio Sawa: The Creation of a New U.S. Government Arabic Service
Unformatted Document Text:  at night. The BBC has a double Arab-world advantage on mediumwave, with two desirable Middle Eastern multi-frequency mediumwave transmitter sites--the East Mediterranean Relay on Cyprus and the Eastern Relay on Masirah Island, Oman. 4 The initial delivery plan for Radio Sawa called for new 600KW mediumwave transmitters on Cyprus and in Djibouti, and as many local FM broadcasts as possible in places such as Amman, Jordan, and in the Gulf, and via Middle East satellite television subcarrier frequencies (Broadcasting Board of Governors, 2001b). Arab World Programming Center: After a great deal of discussion and visits to the area, BBG staff decided that Dubai, U.A.E., was the most suitable location for the new service’s programming headquarters. The Dubai government agreed to host the Radio Sawa production center in its new Media City. Radio Sawa: Current and Future Development: By late summer 2002, Radio Sawa was reaching many more listeners in the Arab world than the old VOA Arabic Service. While the Djoubti transmitter is being readied, Radio Sawa is being broadcast on 98.1 FM in Amman, Jordan, a signal that also covers the West Bank; in Kuwait on 95.7 (a pre-existing VOA transmitter); in Dubai on 90.5; in Abu Dhabi on 98.7, and on 92.6 from Doha, Qatar. Other FM transmitter locations are planned. 5 Radio Sawa also serves the Middle East from the old Rhodes VOA Eastern Mediterranean Relay on 1260 kHz, from Kuwait on 1548 kHz, and from a Radio Sawa purpose-built 600 KW mediumwave facility on 981 kHz made operational by a contract with a French company in September 2002. Those with Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television can receive the signal via NILESAT, ARABSAT, and EUTELSAT- HOTBIRD (Radio Sawa Web Page, 2002). Many of the shortwave frequencies used by the old VOA Arabic Service broadcast Radio Sawa. Regardless of where potential listeners are in the world, Radio Sawa is also available around the clock at www.radiosawa.com using Windows Media Player or RealAudio. The abrupt switch to Radio Sawa on the two mediumwave frequencies in April 2002 caused concern inside the VOA, voiced on May 2, 2002, at a VOA Staff Town Meeting, among some of the VOA’s other language services, especially the Farsi Service that had used 1548 kHz from Kuwait to reach Iran.

Authors: Boyd, Douglas.
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at night. The BBC has a double Arab-world advantage on mediumwave, with two desirable
Middle Eastern multi-frequency mediumwave transmitter sites--the East Mediterranean Relay
on Cyprus and the Eastern Relay on Masirah Island, Oman.
4
The initial delivery plan for Radio Sawa called for new 600KW mediumwave transmitters
on Cyprus and in Djibouti, and as many local FM broadcasts as possible in places such as
Amman, Jordan, and in the Gulf, and via Middle East satellite television subcarrier
frequencies (Broadcasting Board of Governors, 2001b).
Arab World Programming Center:
After a great deal of discussion and visits to the area,
BBG staff decided that Dubai, U.A.E., was the most suitable location for the new service’s
programming headquarters. The Dubai government agreed to host the Radio Sawa
production center in its new Media City.
Radio Sawa: Current and Future Development:
By late summer 2002, Radio Sawa was
reaching many more listeners in the Arab world than the old VOA Arabic Service. While the
Djoubti transmitter is being readied, Radio Sawa is being broadcast on 98.1 FM in Amman,
Jordan, a signal that also covers the West Bank; in Kuwait on 95.7 (a pre-existing VOA
transmitter); in Dubai on 90.5; in Abu Dhabi on 98.7, and on 92.6 from Doha, Qatar. Other
FM transmitter locations are planned.
5
Radio Sawa also serves the Middle East from the old
Rhodes VOA Eastern Mediterranean Relay on 1260 kHz, from Kuwait on 1548 kHz, and from
a Radio Sawa purpose-built 600 KW mediumwave facility on 981 kHz made operational by a
contract with a French company in September 2002. Those with Direct-to-Home (DTH)
satellite television can receive the signal via NILESAT, ARABSAT, and EUTELSAT-
HOTBIRD (Radio Sawa Web Page, 2002). Many of the shortwave frequencies used by the
old VOA Arabic Service broadcast Radio Sawa. Regardless of where potential listeners are
in the world, Radio Sawa is also available around the clock at www.radiosawa.com using
Windows Media Player or RealAudio. The abrupt switch to Radio Sawa on the two
mediumwave frequencies in April 2002 caused concern inside the VOA, voiced on May 2,
2002, at a VOA Staff Town Meeting, among some of the VOA’s other language services,
especially the Farsi Service that had used 1548 kHz from Kuwait to reach Iran.


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