There’s few independent thinkers on the airwaves in this region. The Middle East is a region where most media are government-owned. One of the exceptions and an amazing personality is Ahmad Al Shugairi. A Saudi national from Jeddah, Ahmad hosts a month-long program during Ramadan called Khawater, which literally translates as thoughts. Ahmad has been hosting Khawater for nine years and it’s become a firm favourite during Ramadan on MBC.
Ahmad is also not afraid of rocking the boat. One of his episodes this season has focused on the issue of Syrian refugees and indirectly on their lack of access to the Gulf region. Another has talked about food waste, particularly during Ramadan. And a third has looked at the concept of innovation when it comes to pot holes (yes, pot holes). The best one was an issue discussing religious tolerance, between Sunni and Shia Muslims and Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.
Ahmad is a man who is positive, and yet who recognizes that we Arabs can and should be behaving and thinking in a more communal, altruistic manner. He’s a voice for sense and humanity in a region where we often don’t speak in moderate tones and with little common sense. I’ll try and find videos subtitled into English, but in the meantime, please do watch the below (the first is on religious tolerance and the second is on the issue of Syrian refugees). Ahmad, we need you throughout the whole year!