LONDON: Arab News announced the launch of its radio show covering the US elections, “The Ray Hanania Show,” hosted by its US special correspondent Ray Hanania, on Tuesday.
The weekly show – found on WNZK AM 690, based in Detroit and broadcasting throughout Michigan, Ohio and Southeast Canada – runs every Wednesday morning for an hour at 8 a.m. EST (1 p.m. in London, 3 p.m. in Riyadh and Jerusalem, and 4 p.m. in Dubai) as well as the second Friday of every month through the week after the Nov. 3 general election.
For the approximately 200,000 listeners who tune in to the radio station each week, as well as thousands of online listeners, the show can also be listened to online and on the Arab News Facebook page.
“We’re focusing on the election and on election politics, and I am hoping to look at congressional races and how Arab Americans will be voting and what issues they feel are important,” Hanania said.
“Each week, the show will examine issues and news in the Arab-American community and talk with activists and community leaders as well as with candidates and newsmakers,” he added.
Guests interviewed include Avi Berkowitz, US President Donald Trump’s special adviser on Middle East negotiations, as well as Arab News’ New York correspondent Ephrem Kossaify.
Syrian American journalist Laila Al-Husini, who founded US Arab Radio in 2005, said she has seen a growing interest among Arab and Muslim Americans in US politics and that Hanania’s weekly contributions have helped to educate and empower them.
“Hanania brings professional journalism to radio and to the Arab and Muslim community each week on US Arab Radio, and we are excited by the sponsorship of this special Arab News election report featuring his perspectives, guests and interviews every Wednesday,” Al-Husini said.
“There are so very few Arab voices on radio not only educating Arab Americans but the mainstream American public, too. That’s why this political discussion program is so important. We are excited to have it on our US Arab Radio Network.”
Hanania explained that radio is exciting because it allows the host to interact directly with the audience in a way that is difficult to do on television and in print – and it is instantaneous.
“Radio adds an important facet to Arab News’ expansion of its coverage on the US. It’s live and interactive and more person-to-person. Listeners get involved and can call in during the show to ask questions,” he said.
Upcoming guests include former US Ambassador to Morocco Ed Gabriel, who is spokesman for the group “Arabs for Biden,” as well as Arab-American activist and writer, Dalia
Al-Aqidi, who is a supporter of President Trump.
Hanania, a seasoned reporter and radio host, used to host a mainstream weekly program on WLS AM Radio in Chicago every Saturday and Sunday morning, in which he discussed mainstream regional and national politics and issues during his time as a Chicago City Hall reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1977 to 1992.
Later, he took over a mainstream weekday morning show on WJJG 1530 AM Radio in Chicago from 2003 to 2009.
He then moved on to host a radio show in 2016 on the US Arab Radio Network, run by Al-Husini, which broadcasts Arabic and English language programs focused on Arab and Muslim communities every morning Monday through Friday from 8-9 a.m.
The radio station has other Middle East-focused programs throughout the day and has a significant audience in the Greater Detroit region.
“Most other programs generally focus on Arab American culture and music,” Hanania said. “My radio shows always focuses on politics, government and Arab American activism.”