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Pakistani network to launch first Arabic-dubbed YouTube channel to bolster cultural ties with Arab world

Buraq Shabbir

KARACHI: Hum Arabia, the first Arabic-dubbed YouTube channel to be launched by a Pakistani television network, aims to bolster cultural ties between Pakistan and the Arab world, a top Hum TV network official said on Saturday, pointing to similarities between the Arabic and Urdu languages. 

Hum Network, one of the leading television networks in South Asia, said this week it would be launching Hum Arabia on June 1, touting it as the “region’s first” too. 

The channel will feature a diverse range of popular Hum TV dramas and shows that have been translated and dubbed to retain the essence and spirit of the original performances as well as to provide entertainment specifically tailored to the “tastes and preferences of the Arab audience,” according to the network officials. 

“There are numerous similarities between Urdu- and Arabic-speaking audiences. The relevance ranges from cultural values to religious norms, shared heritage to common history. All these parallels collectively make the content relatable and both the cantons relevant to each other,” Maimona Siddiqui, chief content officer (CCO) of HUM TV Network, told Arab News. 

“The aim behind the initiative is to familiarize and immerse the Arabic-speaking audience with our cultural representation. Arabic being the language closest to Urdu, Hum Arabia will prove to be a bridge between the two regions for enhanced mutual connection.” 

Hum Arabia will be launched with the release of drama serial ‘Parizaad’ that gained massive popularity and success in both Pakistan and abroad. The drama has an ensemble cast, with Ahmed Ali Akbar playing the protagonist. 

“Parizaad touched a lot of hearts, not just in Pakistan. It has a huge following in India. I am still getting a lot of love and messages from all over the world,” Kiran Tabeir, who played the role of the Akbar’s sister in the show, told Arab News. 

“I am proud that another region will watch the play. I am sure Arabic audience will love it too. Parizaad explored so many aspects that audiences anywhere in the world will find it relatable.” 

The decision to launch Hum Arabia was taken in view of overwhelming appreciation and widespread consumption of HUM TV’s content in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to HUM TV officials. 

“The scope of Hum Arabia is global. Wherever the Arabic speaking audience is present, it aims to reach all of them,” Siddiqui said. 

“It can also result in fostering stronger ties between the Pakistani and Arab entertainment fraternity.” 

The venture would soon include numerous other genres and the HUM TV Network was open to the possibility of giving access to Arabic content for audiences in Pakistan too, she added. 

Courtesy: arabnews