Abu Dhabi, January, 2016: Quest Arabiya, the new Middle East and North Africa (MENA) free-to-air, factual entertainment Arabic TV channel, is calling on people to share inspirational untold stories to feature in its Hakawi mini-documentary series.
Hakawi, the Arabic word for ‘stories’, is a series of three-minute documentaries that showcase the diversity of Arab society – highlighting people’s unique passions, ambitions and achievements, and bringing to life the stories of everyday people doing out of the ordinary things.
Quest Arabiya, which launched in December, broadcasting to 45 million homes in 22 countries across the MENA region, has begun screening the first season of Hakawi regularly throughout its schedule.
One example is Talal Al-Kuwaiti, a pigeon keeper from Jordan. Hakawi brings to light the humanism behind the hobby as Talal shares what his pigeons mean to him. His bonds and respect for the birds are evident as he speaks of them as independent beings, ultimately belonging to the open skies rather than himself.
Talal Al-Kuwaiti’s story is one of 14 episodes that have been completed so far. The other documentaries feature a wide range of people, from a female Bahraini bodybuilder, a young Emirati motorsport enthusiast and a Jordanian automotive furniture designer, to a Syrian guitar maker, an Egyptian Parkour team and a Moroccan scientist.
Farah Makdisi, Original Programming Executive, Quest Arabiya said: “This inspiring series of mini documentaries captures exactly what Quest Arabiya is all about: creating original, home-grown content that reflects the lives and realities of people across the entire region to the widest possible audience.
“Our region is brimming with people with amazing stories to tell and we would love to hear them. We want Arabs all across the MENA region to nominate individuals or groups of people from within their communities for our next round of filming. Through these films we are looking to celebrate the human element.”
Stories can be shared on Quest Arabiya’s social media platforms at @QuestArabiya using the hashtag #hakawi. Video stories can be sent via email to [email protected].
Hakawi can be seen every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 20:25 and 22.20 KSA time on Quest Arabiya. Quest Arabiya’scatch-up service, which includes some of the Hakawi episodes that have already aired, can be found at www.questarabiya.com
Quest Arabiya, a partnership between Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Discovery Communications, fills a gap in the Arabic TV market by providing factual entertainment content of a quality and breadth that has never been seen before in the region.
The channel covers the following genres: Extreme Outdoor, Turbo, Engineering, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Space and People & Places.
As well as regionally-produced original material, Quest Arabiya is Arabizing content from Discovery’s extensive library. All Quest Arabiya programs are dubbed in Arabic and use full Arabic graphics, presenting world-beating shows specifically designed for an Arabic audience.
Full List of first 14 Hakawi Episodes:
The Last Dallah Maker:
Ismael Ali is the last living dallah craftsman. He speaks about his relationship with the art through its ups and downs, its relevance to his native Emirati culture, and the inner peace it allows him to cultivate.
The Pigeon Keeper:
Talal Al-Kuwaiti’s pigeons are as much his hobby as his friends. He forms close bonds with the birds and respects them as independent beings, ultimately belonging to the open skies rather than himself.
Parkour, or free-running, has become an increasingly popular outlet for young, high-energy individuals. This episode features a group of passionate free-runners from Egypt as they scale buildings and bounce off rooftops, performing jumps, somersaults, and more across the urban landscape.
Haifa Musawi: Bahraini Bodybuilder
Overcoming obstacles from family and society, Haifa’s story is one of strength and inspiration. Ever since she was a teenager in her home country of Bahrain, she has trained relentlessly in the effort to become the internationally-recognized athlete that she is today.
Abdul-Rahman Asfour quit his job to become a full-time automotive furniture designer and creator. From his workshop in Amman and with some friendly support, he has managed to create speakers out of engines, clocks out of gears, and even a sink from a motorcycle.
Mountaineer, adventurer, and inspirational speaker, Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to climb the Seven Summits and ski to both poles. He opens up about the tragic, untimely passing of his wife, his unrelenting love for the great outdoors, and his next mission: going to space.
The Wooden Powerboat Legacy:
Rashid learned a lot from his father and from the sea; patience, strength – and how to be a successful wooden powerboat racer. Rashid shares his passion for the sport as well as its history, rooted in the traditional Emirati dive boat, and ultimately races his beloved powerboat at a major competition in Abu Dhabi.
Naseer Shamma – Oud Virtuoso:
From Kout to Baghdad and the wider Arab world, Naseer Shamma has inspired and entertained millions with his creative mastery of the oud. Naseer’s music is his voice, expressing and representing himself and his generation, all the while remaining effortlessly timeless.
Skating subculture has grown all over the world, not least of all in Egypt. From Cairo to Alexandria and beyond, the episode examines the skaters’ impulses and motivations, their creative use of the cityscape, and the brotherhood that keeps them together.
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi:
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi is a Moroccan scientist with a passion for agriculture. She carries out the very important work of researching and innovating ways to maximize crop production in marginal environments with limited water supplies, all the while maintaining a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural environment.
Hamda Al-Hosani is an internationally award-winning runner and her sister Mariam a bowling champion. They refuse to be held back by their mental disabilities, and having already made their way to the Special Olympics, continue to soar to even greater heights with the enthusiastic support of their mother Zaafaranah.
Basil is a 27-year-old Syrian with one big passion: making guitars. Growing up around a family factory business, it didn’t take long before Basil was able to merge his love of music with his carpentry skills. He makes some of the most unique guitars out of cigar boxes, oil cans, and more.
Formula 1 Child:
Rashid Al Dhaheri is a kid who is not afraid to dream big. At just seven-years-old, Rashid is making an impact on the karting scene, winning awards locally and abroad with the goal of making it all the way to Formula 1.
Abu Dhabi Police’s security support is a force to be reckoned with; there is no shortage of discipline, strength, and purpose in these brave men and women. We hear all about it from three members of the team.