The UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) celebrated World Radio Day on 13 February in coordination with the regional office of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Beirut. The two UN offices collaborated this year with four leading radio stations in Lebanon: The state-run Radio Liban, Al-Bashaer, Delta and Voice of Lebanon Achrafieh.
Radio Liban and Al-Bashaer radio stations dressed up the occasion all throughout their programs. They aired promotions for the day and historical background about the radio and its significance in people’s lives. Both radio stations also hosted UNESCO’s Programme Officer, George Awad, who stressed this year’s theme, “Radio is You” and referred to the radio as a powerful and low-cost communication tool. He also underscored the need for everyone to have access to information. Radio Liban interviewed as well Lebanon’s Information Minister Melhem Riachi on the history of radio in Lebanon, its stages of development and future.
Radio Liban also transmitted voice notes by representatives of UN agencies in Lebanon where they provided information on major UN achievements in Lebanon. Al-Bashaer Radio aired a voice note by UN Radio Arabic in which Multimedia Producer May Yaacoub shed light on the set up of UN Radio Arabic, the establishment of the Arabic language as an official and working language of the UN and this year’s World Radio Day theme, “Radio Is You”.
Radio Delta, for its part, dedicated its morning show with famous anchor Mireille Eid to this Day. It aired a voice note by UNIC Beirut’s Acting Director Margo Helou, who referred to the advantages of the radio as a participatory and interactive tool, and praised various programs that Lebanese radios air on a daily basis and which cater to positive dialogue. Eid also hosted Awad from UNESCO and aired another voice note from UN Radio Arabic, in addition to interacting with her listeners on this topic.
Meanwhile, Voice of Lebanon Radio Achrafieh chose to celebrate World Radio Day with the Lebanese youth in its afternoon interactive show “InstaTime” presented by Tony Haykal. The presenter posed a question on air asking listeners when their preferred time to listen to the radio is, and this generated a lot of interaction and engagement, with most participants emphasizing the radio as an inevitable tool in their daily lives. UNESCO also sent a voice note in a form of an audio “tweet”.
World Radio Day is celebrated annually on 13 February. It was proclaimed in September 2011 by UNESCO's 187th Executive Council after originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain upon the recommendation of the Spanish Radio Academy.