MBC’s pan-Arab show Laish La (Why Not?) has turned to Dubai-based, crowd-funding site Aflamnah to finance a project to rebuild a women’s radio station in the Gaza Strip.
The popular show, fronted by four Saudi social activists with big YouTube followings, aims to fulfil wishes sent in by viewers.
For their latest project, they are trying to raise $20,000 to help rebuild the Nisaa radio station, the first community radio station in the Gaza Strip for women, which was destroyed during the Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian territory over the summer.
“It’s an interesting concept for us, combining a radio station, TV show and crowd-funding,” said Vida Rizq, who runs Aflamnah alongside co-founder Lotfi Bencheikh. “These guys have a huge following on YouTube and the campaign has generated some 100,000 hits since it started two weeks ago.”
Launched in July 2012, Aflamnah is a fund-raising platform for creative projects in any domain in the Arab world.
Film related projects currently on the site include Jason Carter and Ray Haddad’s documentary A Grain of Sand about a quest to find the UAE’s remaining pearl divers and document their songs and stories before they die.
Other film-related projects over the last 12 months include Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel’s bid to raise money to finance a 2015 Oscar race bid for his award-winning documentary A World Not Ours. He managed to raise $9,370 out of a $12,000 goal.
“He didn’t make it into the final short-list unfortunately but the crowd-funding campaign at least gave him a shot at trying to achieve that goal,” said Rizq.
Lebanese filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour also turned to the site to raise money to distribute his documentary Champ of the Camps about a singing competition run by immigrant construction workers living in the UAE’s labour camps. The film screened at DIFF last year.
“Traffic to the site increases month by month,” said Rizq. “The idea of crowd-funding is becoming increasingly established in the region as an accepted form of financing.”