Dubbed in Arabic, Pakistan’s most memorable play to be aired in KSA

This is the first time Pakistan Television has dubbed a local TV production for Saudi viewers, said Shahzia Sikander, PTV’s director international relations who is also spearheading the project. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 20 September 2019

Dubbed in Arabic, Pakistan’s most memorable play to be aired in KSA

  • Drama serial “Dhoop Kinare” is ready to be delivered, says the project head at state-owned PTV
  • Former information minister says Saudi crown prince transformed cultural sphere in the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s popular drama serial ‘Dhoop Kinare’ will be aired in Saudi Arabia this year with Arabic dubbing.
This is the first time Pakistan Television has dubbed a local TV production for Saudi viewers, said Shahzia Sikander, PTV’s director international relations who is also spearheading the project.
The project is the result of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to modernize the Kingdom and create new entertainment avenues for its people.
“The information ministry will send it to Saudi Arabia through our foreign office,” Sikander told Arab News on Thursday. “We are also contacting different media houses in the Kingdom, in case they are interested in exchange of dramas or buying our dubbed content.”
She added it was the information ministry that assigned PTV the task to dub classic Urdu dramas in Arabic which “we accepted as a challenge and now our first project is complete for delivery.”
Sikander said the move would be a source of revenue for Pakistan and bring international recognition to the country’s local productions. It would also help Saudi nationals understand the Pakistani culture better, she continued.
The country’s former information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia was “opening up” under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adding that his vision for the country must be appreciated.
“In the field of art and culture, he has changed the Kingdom in a big way,” Chaudhry, who originally floated the idea of such cultural exchanges, told Arab News.
He recalled that the work on the drama project began after the visit of the former Saudi information minister, Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, to Pakistan last year.
“I shared this idea with him to run Pakistani dramas in Saudi Arabia as they are much ahead in quality and values than other countries. He welcomed the suggestion and we started working on the project,” Chaudhary informed.
He added when Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, became the Saudi culture minister, “the idea once again came under discussion during my visit to the Kingdom.”
“He was very kind and promised to support my initiative of broadening the cultural relationship between the two brotherly Muslim countries,” Chaudhry added.
He pointed out that drama and film were two important mediums and could play a vital role in projecting a country’s culture. “Under this arrangement, the first Pakistani film, Parwaaz Hai Junoon, was screened in Saudi cinemas last November. Our main aim was to promote a joint production with Saudi Arabia along with Saudi investment in the fields of film and drama.”
To enhance cultural exchanges between the two countries, he continued, it was decided to form a Pak-Saudi ministerial committee on information and culture during the crown prince’s February visit. The two sides, he informed, were still working on that.
A famous Pakistani actor, Usman Khalid Butt, described this as a great initiative. “Our drama will get more global audience. In today’s world, if the content is good, language does not become a barrier. Pakistani actors will get greater international exposure through this.”
Butt added Pakistani entertainment industry needed investment and new markets. “We create between 20 and 30 films a year which is not enough to sustain an entire industry. If a joint production with another country takes place, it will be a great learning experience for us.”


Pakistan says hospitals have 'ample resources' against coronavirus while doctors sound alarm

Updated 30 May 2020

Pakistan says hospitals have 'ample resources' against coronavirus while doctors sound alarm

  • ‘Only 25 percent of Pakistan’s hospital assets currently engaged:’ PM’s health adviser
  • In last 24 hours, 78 people died of coronavirus in biggest single day tally in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, said in a media briefing on Saturday that Pakistan’s health care sector had ‘ample resources’ to deal with coronavirus while doctors sounded alarm in the country’s most populous province, Punjab.
Pakistan saw a record jump in daily fatalities and cases on Friday with 78 people reported to have died from the virus in 24 hours including four health care workers. The total number of infected cases in the country stands at over 68,000 people with a death count of 1,400 as of Saturday.
“The overall situation in the country is under control as 25 percent of the country’s assets in the health sector are being used currently. It may be that a few hospitals in big cities which have huge influx are facing problems, otherwise we have ample resources to deal with COVID-19 patients so far,” Mirza said.
The PM’s aide also stressed the need for following standard operating procedures and adopting social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.
“In view of growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths due to this disease, the government is left with no option except to declare wearing of masks a must for everyone at public places, especially mosques, markets, shopping malls, public transport, and other crowded places,” he added.
Additionally, a resource management system was being launched to inform the public about the availability of beds and ventilators in different hospitals, he continued.
But some doctors have refuted the government’s claims regarding the state of the health care sector.
Vice Chairman of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) in Punjab, Dr. Shoaib Tarrar, said hospitals in big cities were almost full due to a huge influx of patients during the last week.
“The system is going to collapse in the coming days due to a rise in the number of patients. At Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi, we have only two beds available with oxygen facility. Our young doctors have informed us about similar situations in the whole of Punjab,” Dr. Tarrar told Arab News. 
Pakistan began relaxing its lockdown measures earlier this month, with shops, businesses and mosques opening up and hundreds of thousands thronging to the marketplaces in anticipation of Eid Al-Fitr last weekend. 
Dr. Javed Akram, Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences Lahore, said the government should focus more on capacity building at health facilities to deal with the surge in the number of COVID-19 patients.
“It all depends upon the peak of COVID-19 in Pakistan as it is very difficult to estimate when we will see its peak,” Dr. Akram told Arab News. 
“The government is taking a lot of measures but this is such a huge challenge that the whole world’s health systems have collapsed while dealing with it,” he said, and added that currently, the health system was coping with demand.
But he warned that if the public’s response to coronavirus containment efforts remained lax, there would be a greater surge. 
“Then we will see more influx which will compromise our health system,” he said.