Halifax Arabic-language radio station begins testing signal
Station promises programming in over 10 different languages, but only Arabic during the day
The first Arabic-language radio station in the Maritimes is set to hit the airwaves and promises a mix of music and talk geared toward the growing Arabic-speaking immigrant community.
Signal testing began Friday for 99.1 FM in Halifax, which will be known as CHHU.
The station promises programming in over 10 different languages, but only Arabic during the day. Evening programming will feature shows in Chinese, Greek, German and other languages.
The president of the station, Tony Karam, said listeners will hear a 50-50 mix of talk and music.
"The kind of talk we are going to have is mainly local, it will be social, political," he said.
"We're going to have lots of interviews with social workers, with doctors, with people talking about beauty, about health, family care, lots of interesting things."
Right now, the station does not have studio space in Halifax. Broadcasting is done out of Montreal sister station 1450 AM where there is a studio dedicated to Halifax programming.
Karam is currently looking to rent office space and prepare it as a radio studio. Once the studio is built, Karam said local staff will be hired.
"We are going to have local news and programming with local journalists," he said.
'We're building a bigger network'
The Halifax station will be part of a larger network that will share on-air content.
"We're building a bigger network. We should be hopefully in Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton with the Halifax and Montreal radio stations," he said.
"Some of the programs will be shared on the Canadian network."
Karam has been producing Arabic-language radio programming for 20 years and said it has come to play an important role for immigrants arriving from Arabic countries.
"You can believe me that the radio station is playing a role in helping people integrate and understand their new society here, especially the new immigrants," he said.
The official launch of the station is scheduled for the first week of April.