96 Nisaa FM

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96 Nisaa FM

Ramallah, Palestinian Territory
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Maysoun Odeh Gangat started the first commercial Arabic-language women’s radio station and website in the Levant region, called 96 NISAA FM. She is empowering women through the media. Maysoun provides a platform for all actors to discuss women’s issues and creatively engages both men and women.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

a commercial radio station could present inspiring role models & practical knowledge needed to help women not just survive, but to flourish.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The image of women in media is negative, discouraging women and adversely affecting the way they are viewed by the local and global community. Arab women are commonly portrayed in the media as victims of violence, abuse and oppression, undermining their successes. Women are most presented in images that reflect daily life through featuring women in the Arab world as submissive wives “happily” using the products being sold.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Maysoun uses radio to access large audience at a low cost. She presents inspiring role models of women in the region from all sectors, women in refugee camps, both young and old, housewives, students, and working women. The media strategy is systematic and orderly both in geographical expansion as well as its diverse programming bringing all stakeholders in one place to bring about real changes from within the community and through government support. Through the show, women get support for situations that might arise at home, at work or elsewhere. She alters traditional views of women through the lens of women journalists addressing issues from the perspective of a woman.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

After only 15 months of being on air and online, Maysoun’s 96 NISAA FM managed to climb to number 3 according to the Ministry of Interior ranking across the Ramallah Governorate out of 20 stations and number 5 according to a ranking by PALTEL. The website gets about 600 hits per month and the radio’s Facebook page has around 946 fans and 20 SMSs and calls per hour, which reflects a high rate of interaction and engagement from listeners.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Radio Nisaa uses a commercial model rather than a non-profit. In the first year, it generated $25,000 in revenue followed by a big jump to $80,000 in the 2nd year. It makes use of diverse funding sources such as cash, in-kind donations, pro bono services, advertisements, and programme sponsorships from private sector companies.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While there are two other women radio stations in Egypt and Iraq, Maysoun’s station is the first and only station operating on a commercial model, airing both online and on air, while addressing women’s issues from a non-traditional approach and encompassing men in the process of change. Furthermore, Maysoun’s radio station is unique for its non-confrontational discourse when talking about serious issues, which diffuses criticism and covers all facets of the issue catering to local needs and beliefs.

Founding Story

Maysoun was raised by a very strong mother who refused to re-marry and opted to raise her four children alone. Given her mother’s example living as a pillar of strength, Maysoun learned to believe in the power of women in society, what they are capable of, and that education can be a starting tool kit for a successful public and private life. She moved her family to Palestine so that she can do something to give back to her country. In 2005, she started “RAM FM,” the first English radio station in Palestine. Unfortunately, it was closed down in 2008 by the Israeli government and Maysoun along with five other colleagues were arrested. After her release, Maysoun fought to continue her work and started NISAA FM in 2009.