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Ibrahim Kanoo..the spiritual father of Radio Bahrain and its chief symbol

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Those who were born in Bahrain or in the neighboring countries of the Gulf, especially the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, in the middle of the twentieth century, their memories are full of stories and tales about Bahrain Wireless Radio, which was the first radio station broadcasting from the Arab Gulf region. Emotionally, they drew on their early culture, and it was one of the few sources for their entertainment.

Audio media literature says: The first radio station that was established there was the first Bahrain Radio, which was established by the British, to provide the public with the latest developments of the Second World War, and also to counter the Nazi propaganda “Here is Berlin.. Arab neighborhood.” It was inaugurated by Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa with a speech At its headquarters in the Courts Building on November 4, 1940 AD. About this radio, researcher Abdulaziz Youssef El-Sayed wrote in his book “March of a Homeland”: The government decided since then to impose an annual fee for using the radio in the amount of two rupees (the decision was abolished in 1945), and that the number of people who owned a radio at that time did not exceed 68 people.

After the end of the Second World War, the purpose of the first Bahrain radio was lost, so it closed down and Bahrain lived for nearly a decade without a radio until it was decided to establish a new radio station, which was inaugurated by the ruler of Bahrain, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on July 21, 1955. It had a power of only one kilowatt, and a broadcasting period It does not exceed two hours a day, but the hours of broadcasting gradually increased until it reached 18 continuous hours, with the diversity of programs and the discovery of promising male and female voices.

What we are concerned with here are the first men, who contributed to the establishment of Bahrain Wireless Radio from scratch, and worked to manage and make it successful, transmitting its voice abroad, producing and presenting its programs in a time of few resources, limited capabilities and simple life. Among them, the name “Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim Muhammad Ahmed Mubarak Hilal Kanoo” stands out, with a strong melodious voice, a musical ear, great height, multiple talents, and a good family personality. The Emiri is the time of the late Emir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa to work as a media advisor.

Kanoo was born in Manama in 1921, grew up in Frij Kano, known in the center of the capital, and studied at Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia School in Muharraq, then completed his education in Beirut. When he was a student at the Al-Hedaya School, his many talents emerged through various school activities, especially as he was a fan of reading and reading and passionate about poetry and the Arab-Islamic heritage. Especially the volleyball and basketball games, thanks to his great height, and on the third hand, his name shone in theatrical activity because of his love for novels and stories.

Unlike other sons of well-known families, Kano preferred to rely on himself at the beginning of his career, so he followed the example of his citizens, who were in the forties of the twentieth century traveling to Saudi Arabia in search of work and livelihood, so he traveled to Khobar by sea, and from there he moved to the northern city of Arar to work on the tabline project After a period of hard work there, he returned to Bahrain, where he worked in the Manama municipality, and from there he moved to work for the Bahrain Petroleum Company for a period of time.

In addition, his passion for sports prompted him to work as a physical education teacher at the Eastern School in Manama for some time, especially as he was a player, goalkeeper and a successful referee. Rather, he was one of the first Bahrainis to practice refereeing in the general league, and his passion for sports led him to encourage him to Al-Nusour Club in Manama (Al-Ahly Club currently). ) to the request for membership in the club, so he became one of its important members, and those who worked for its advancement and leadership in many games.

Just as Kano emerged as an active and active member of the Bahraini sports movement, he was also one of the active and active personalities in the theatrical movement. Perhaps what helped him to storm the stage with the success of his various readings, his distinguished voice and the beauty of his recitation, not to mention his proficiency in the Arabic language and eloquent poetry, and thus Kanoo established a theatrical history for himself. He was full, first by participating in a number of local plays set on school and club theaters, and later through skits, plays and series, which he prepared for the radio, and he participated in some of them personally, including, for example, the radio series “Les Miserables”, in which Kano participated, impersonating his voice. The role of the protagonist of the story “Jean Valjean”.

Sheikh Salman had heard about Kano, his talents, his voice, and his brilliance in public speaking and commenting on final school festivals, so he summoned him in early 1955, and asked him to prepare to work in a radio station that would soon be established. Kano replied: “I am always at your service and you will find me at your best.” Hussain Mahrous says in his book on Bahrain Radio, entitled “The Biography of Kalam”: The Bahraini government advisor at the time, Sir Charles Belgrave, called him the next day and told him that he had been chosen to establish the radio station. Who started with him on the radio, accompanied him for years and then succeeded him as director.

Thus, Kanu took upon himself the difficult task, and the first voice, which sounded from the radio on the day of its inauguration, was saying: “Ladies, ladies and gentlemen, peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you, in the name of God we begin, and in the name of God we march. We promised ourselves. It is a blessed step during the era of Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the ruler of Bahrain, who spared no effort in providing every means of culture and advancement for his honorable people. Yes, we will have goals and we will impose programs on ourselves, but with your help, support and solidarity with this radio station, which bears your name and we consider it to be from you and to you. part of the emptiness in a reasonably good manner of respectable and acceptable amusement.”

About the beginnings of his work in the radio and the difficulties he faced, Kano said (introduced): “We started work and Hamad Belgrave (son of the government advisor) supervised us. At the time, we only had CDs on the radio. As for the sound effects, we used to trick ourselves into making them. For example, we used to bring a bank (a fan) and a wicker of palm fronds, and we put it in front of it to get the sound of the wind, and to get an echo, we put the speaker near the fan, and to get the sound of water we used to We bring a basin with water and move it in front of the microphone.” Kanoo recalls: “In the sixties, the talented teacher Atiq Saeed joined the radio family. We started performing skits, and overcame the lack of tapes by using the same tape several times. We record one material and erase it to use it in another.”

It is known that Kano was the one who edited the news bulletin, drawing its content from other radio stations, so he was always keen to read the bulletin himself, especially if it included important news, which made the listeners listen to him well whenever he was the reader of the bulletin. In this context, the late son of Bahrain Radio, Professor Saeed Al-Hamad, may God have mercy on him, told me that it was difficult in those days to reach Kano to summon him to the radio house, to recite important news, because the phones had not yet spread, so it was agreed between him and his colleagues that they would broadcast the song « The Eternal River” by Muhammad Abdel Wahab as a sign of the necessity of his coming to the radio house immediately to read the important news. In the same context, Kanoo said about the news bulletins from Bahrain Radio, which summed up that people were angry at hearing news that did not match their desires, or they did not like. This happened, for example, when Kano read the news of the defeat of June 6, 1967. The listeners refused to believe him, and even accused him of confusing them. Likewise, he was also recording in his melodious voice poetic texts and poems of praise of the Prophet, with the help of a few of his acquaintances and friends whom he chose, and discovered their latent talents and employed them to carry the torch of work in the audio media in Bahrain. Therefore, many of the radio’s sons owe him credit, including: Ahmed Yatim, Ali Taqi, Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Ateeq Saeed, Hassan Kamal and Muhammad Sanqour, in addition to a group of young people, who emerged through the popular “Cubs Corner” program, such as Saeed Al-Hamad, Amina Al-Shamlan, Parween Zainal, Amina Hassan and Badria Abdul Latif, Fatima Shwaiter, Aisha Abdul Latif and others.

We said that Kano had a musical ear, which helped him choose the best Arabic music programs and Egyptian, Lebanese and Iraqi songs for broadcast, in addition to presenting daily segments of popular folklore also to the great Bahraini folk artists. From this point of view, he made a tremendous effort in every direction to make the radio a complete lyrical library, which helped it broadcast one of its most popular programs, the “What the Listeners Demand” program, which was crowded with song dedications from so-and-so to Allan, and so on.

Finally, it is worth mentioning in the discussion of Ibrahim Kanoo’s biography and journey that at the beginning of his work in radio he joined a training course at Radio Near East, which broadcasts from Cyprus, and that he was sent at a later period to Britain to receive a course in the arts of radio work, directing It was produced and presented by the BBC’s Arabic section, which helped it present new and funny ideas and exciting programs, overcome weak capabilities, and fill the void of a lack of producers and program directors.

May God have mercy on Ibrahim Kano, who passed away on February 2, 1991, after a busy journey marked by dedication, sincerity and creativity, and to communicate with people with humility, honesty and love.


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