Meet Wassime Achkar – Research & Audience Supervisor for Al Baraem & JCC TV channels at Al Jazzera Children’s
Blogger Francesca Morosi meets Wassime Achkar – Research & Audience Supervisor for BARAEM & JCC TV’s channels in Aljazzera
“Looking forward to meeting producers for international co-productions and finding useful contact with companies who can develop innovative educational content for our children’s website.”
This is the first time at the CMC for Wassime Achkar, he came across the CMC through his contact with Greg Childs. Understanding the value of conferences like this to link and network with the right players, his channel decided to become a sponsor for this year CMC’s conference. They are used to attending MIP in France (another big hub from media producers all over the world) and they’ve made some very useful contacts throughout the years; they are now very excited to see what’s coming out of this one.
Their channels are BARAEM and JCCTV’s TV – both free-to-air – offering 18-21 hours of non-stop programming aimed at children 3-6 and 7-15. Most programs are self-produced (55%) and they fall into the category of “edutainement”: “We try our best to entertain and educate kids at the same time, that’s our goal, we want to produce contain which makes learning easy and fun for children”.
“We are always looking for new and appealing ideas (particularly in the “edutainment” category and for 9-12 years old) and we are hoping to develop new co- operations at international level. We recently made a co-production with Malaysia (the animation “Saladin”) and the results have been really satisfying. We are also looking for companies which can develop educational contain which is exciting and innovative for our website. ”
In many of their programmes children can learn about maths, history, science and international history in a fun and entertaining way. “We have also produced a video-on-demand (TAALAM TV) targeted to schools: it is supposed to help teachers and pupils to visualise learning topics, we also offer worksheets which teachers can download from the website”. The whole resource is obviously in Arabic and it’s now used in many Arabic countries (Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Kwait), we are now planning to offer it to Morocco & Tunisia.
Being a really hot day here in Sheffield I wonder whether Wassime finds it warm as I do, but he explains that he’s feeling “quite refreshed” as in Aljazeera it’s about 45 Celsius, (Ahh! I so wish I could share his feeling while I’m writing this blog with my tongue sticking out!:)