In comparison to some rival radio stations in Tunisia, there’s no doubt that Zitouna FM is one of the new kids on the block. This is a station that only launched in September 2007, meaning that it has only been on air for a mere eight years.
Despite its youth, Zitouna FM is still very well-known amongst Tunisians. Here, we’ll take a look at the station in more detail.
What is the history behind Zitouna FM?
It would be fair to say that Zitouna FM has a slightly colourful history behind it. After all, this is a station that was launched by Mohamed Sakhr El Materi who was the son of the country’s president at the time.
To give more of an insight on El Materi, it’s worth mentioning that his investment in a radio station is probably one of the smallest things he has achieved in his career. This is a man who as well as being son of a president, was involved in countless business transactions focusing around some of the biggest companies in the country. A prime example is Princes El Materi Holding; with El Materi being the head of this company that specializes in the automobile, real estate, finance, tourism and media industries. In other words, it is involved in all of the major industries across Tunisia.
However, El Materi is no longer regarded as the hugely successful businessman that he once was. He has been the subject of countless accusations of corruption and the Tunisian courts have already found him guilty of such activities. Nevertheless, despite being sentenced to imprisonment, El Materi managed to seek political asylum in Seychelles and currently resides there.
Suffice to say, his involvement in Zitouna FM is now completely minimal.
Who else is part of the Zitouna FM team?
Zitouna FM is a station which has strong links to political circles. As well as being founded by El Materi, there are other high-profile political figures that are involved.
For example, the station is currently led by Keml Omran, who was previously the Minister of Religious affairs as well as being a major author.
Mohamed Machfar is another well-known individual and while his background is not politics, his radio nous means that he is still a key figure within Zitouna FM.
How is the station broadcast?
Zitouna FM is primarily broadcast in Arabic. However, there are occasions when some shows will be put out in French, meaning that the station can cater for the masses.
In terms of mediums, there are no specific frequencies as the station is broadcast nationally. Like most of the major stations across Tunisia, it’s possible to stream Zitouna FM on the internet.
The station is now broadcast twenty four hours a day.
What sort of programs are available?
Even though the formation of Zitouna FM involved so many politicians, its content is actually very religious. It mainly concentrates on the Quran and regularly has young people reciting and chanting it. As well as this, Zitouna FM has five daily prayers that are broadcast from the Malik ibn Anas.