Published — Thursday 25 March 2004
Last Update 25 March 2004 3:00 am
Prominent Saudi broadcaster Saud Al-Dossari - best known for the show "From Riyadh" - recently made headlines when it was rumored he would marry Syrian singer Meyada Hannawi. He told Sayidaty - a sister publication of Arab News - all about it.
Sayidaty: Do you think that your new program "From Riyadh" is a step toward achieving your dreams?
Saud Al-Dossary: The program talks about social issues in Saudi Arabia, and it has become successful very quickly. The reactions are very encouraging, very positive. And yes, I've been wanting to present a program like this for a long time.
Q: What does the word culture mean to you as a broadcaster?
A: A broadcaster should be aware and knowledgeable if he wants to talk about different topics on air. He has got to research. There are no two ways about it. I read all kinds of news for my program - medical, economic, anything. Now I read a lot more than I used to, and as a result I know a lot more, too.
Q: You lived away from home for a long time, from MBC fm in London to Orbit in Egypt. What did you gain from living abroad?
A: It was mixing with the media professionals internationally that benefited me most. I gained a lot of experience in producing and presenting programs. I used to think of myself as a student on a scholarship during my whole time abroad.
Q: People are saying you were the spoiled child of MBC fm. What do you have to say about that?
A: I was not, and the management at that time did not distinguish between employees.
Q: If you got a new offer from MBC fm, would you consider leaving Orbit?
A: After seven years with Orbit, I don't think I would want to leave. It's a unique experience.
Q: Satellite channels are relying on beautiful women to attract audiences; do you think this is unfair for male broadcasters?
A: No, no. Women have the right to work in this field. It is the channel's right to pick them if they are better than men.
Q: There are rumors of a rivalry between you and Egyptian broadcaster Amro Adeeb.
A: There is no rivalry between us. His programs are very different from mine. We have an excellent relationship. He is a wonderful broadcaster.
Q: Is it true that you married Syrian singer Meyada Hannawi?
A: That is just another rumor. I love her songs; she has been my favorite singer since I was young. But we were never close, let alone married.
Q: Work takes up a lot of your time. Don't you think it is about time you got married and settled down?
A: Of course broadcasting has taken up a lot of my time. I travel a lot in search of success. But you're right: the next step is to look for my future wife. But I'm going to choose her carefully because I do not want her to pay the price for my busy life.
Q: What characteristics should she have?
A: She needs to understand me and what my work involves. Also she needs to be realistic when dealing with my career. Nonetheless I don't think it's going to be difficult finding my bride.
Which reminds me, a girl once asked for my hand in marriage, live on air. I have to admit I was speechless for a moment.