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Cham radio programme debuts

Cham radio programme debuts

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090604_05b.jpg

Privately funded project offers first Khmer-language content geared towards Cham population.

Photo by: SOVANN PHILONG

Ly No checks the donation box Tuesday in the Halal restaurant near Kandal market. The box was set up to support the Radio Sap Cham station.

THE president of the Cambodian Muslim Development Foundation (CMDF) this week began broadcasting Khmer-language radio programming geared towards the Cham community, the first such programming to air in a language other than Cham.

CMDF President Othsman Hassan said Tuesday that this week's programming would consist of readings, in both Khmer and Cham, from the Koran. He said it would air at 4pm each day on Radio Phnom Penh and at 5pm on Apsara Radio.

"As a first step, we are not producing commentary," he said. "We are just playing the chanting from our holy books."

He said future programming would include shows about political and economic news affecting the Cham community, adding that these could begin airing as soon as next month.

Othsman Hassan told the Post in February that the programming would air exclusively in Khmer, but he said Wednesday that he decided to also include Cham-language programming because not all members of the Cham community speak Khmer.

He said he expected the project to cost US$4,000 per month, and that he would fund it himself.

Ahmad Yahya, the founder of Radio Sap Cham, a Cham-language radio station, said he commended Othsman Hassan's decision to include Cham-language programming.

Sos Kamry, the grand mufti of Cambodia, said he wanted Othsman Hassan to broadcast fishing-related shows and other programming that would prove practical for the Kingdom's Cham population, which Ahmad Yahya said totalled between 700,000 and 800,000. 

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