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.”


Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

Updated 17 October 2019

Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

  • The crash took place when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 pilgrims collided with a loader
  • Reports indicate only four bus passengers survived the tragedy, some in critical condition

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday expressed profound grief and sorrow over the tragic road accident that claimed the lives of 35 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, the accident happened when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 passengers collided with a loader near Madinah at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s foreign office confirmed in a press statement that “the deceased also include a certain number of Pakistani nationals.”

“Of the four survivors,” the handout continued, “there is one Pakistani named Mr. Akbar, who is seriously injured. The Pakistan Consulate General in Jeddah has established contact with him and is in touch with the concerned Saudi authorities and staff of the King Fahad Hospital, Madinah, to ascertain details of casualties of Pakistani nationals.”

Reacting to the development, the foreign minister said his ministry was in touch with the Saudi authorities to ascertain the causes of the accident.

“Our diplomatic mission is in contact with the Saudi authorities to ensure that the injured get the best medical facilities and the bodies of the deceased are smoothly flown back to Pakistan,” Qureshi added.