Sout Afkari – A modern concept to guide young girls through adolescence
Exclusive Interview with Abdullah Al-Mansour, Al-Hamra Real Estate Co, discussing Sout Afkari – a modern concept to guide young girls through adolescence
Kuwait Times: Al-Hamra is gearing up to launch a new community program, titled “Sout Afkari” that is gaining a lot of traction. Can you please tell us more about it?
Mansour: Sout Afkari is a one-of-a-kind girl empowerment program that touches upon crucial modern times’ issues pertaining to the Kuwaiti teen girls, ranging from beauty, identity, love, self-worth, talent, family relationships and career. It is a new format, never before seen in Kuwait that comes in 14 TV episodes, aired exclusively on Al-Rai TV and social media. It is an open platform where accomplished Kuwaiti women, female role models, social media personalities and other female celebrities provide guidance, encourage critical thinking and promote a positive teen culture.
KT: Why ‘Sout Afkari”?
Mansour: Adolescence is a critical stage in one’s life journey and transformational in many respects leaving teens with challenging questions and conflicted on who they are and their place in the world. They also face tremendous social pressure to look, act and dress in a certain way. So, we wanted to create an edutainment experience, that is both fun and educational that resonates with young girls. Sout Afkari – ‘Find your Voice’ aims to guide them through this period, open up their minds to find their own voice, bolster their self-confidence and provide outstanding role models that they can look up to and get inspiration from.
KT: This is a brand new concept. How were the episodes chosen?
Mansour: This a program dedicated to young girls aged 10-18 years and it was crucial to us that we make it really matter to them. So, we conducted focus group research to identify the issues that mattered most to them and brought together exceptional women from all walks of life that speak their language. The setting is informal and discussions are lighthearted to make it more appealing to youth, but the messages we convey are very powerful.
KT: What can we expect from each episode?
Mansour: There will be 14 episodes around seven main themes – ‘Who are you?’ that addresses questions around self and identity; What is beauty?; What is love? What is Passion and Talent; What is the role of women in the workplace? What is power and success? How is your relationship with your mother and family?
Role models provide their thoughts from their own perspectives, sparking conversation among youth to form their own opinions that reflect their own unique personalities. There are many other surprises and behind the scenes shots and tremendous friendships that have been formed; so the episodes are positive, engaging and a breath of fresh air.
KT: Who are the role models that are participating in this initiative?
Mansour: We are incredibly proud to have brought together 29 exceptional women, including teen age social media influencers. Every episode will feature a number of role models that are most relevant to discuss that particular topic; sharing a wealth of experience. They include: Dr Khloud Al-Najar, Areej Al-Kharafi , Rahaf Al-Enzi , Eng. Zainab Al-Qurashi, Dr Reem Dashti, Manayer Al-Kandari, Sara Al-Amer, Dr. Shaikha Al-Jaseem, Asrar Al-Ansari, Nawal Al-Azaz, Dana Al-Owaisi, Sondos Al-Shaiji, May Al-Najar, Sherefa Al-Jaber, Rehab Al-Tawari, Reem Al-Edian, Lobna Saif Abbas, Dalal Al-Doub, Haya Al-Omar, Razan Almarshad, Nouf Al-Ali, Sherefa Al-Sleti, Dana Mado, Rahaf Al-Enzi , Aisha Al-Abdullah, Khadija Al-Haramy, Eng. Abrar Al-Ebraheem, Dr. Reham Al-Reshidi and Nourah Al-Ajmi.
KT: Who are your partners in this program?
Mansour: Sout Afkari has been designed in partnership with Light Bug Media Production Company, an award winning media company led by Director Yaroub Bourahmah .and support from the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and Grand Cinemas, with Al Rai TV as our exclusive media partner.
KT: Why is Al Hamra Real Estate Co. supporting this initiative?
Mansour: We believe it is imperative that we, as a society, land a helping hand to future generations, encouraging their self-reflection, and generally guiding them through transitional stages of their lives – in the way that is the most appealing to them, through social media and female celebrities. This is ultimately about youth empowerment, core to our CSR strategy to ensure a stronger nation for generations to come.
Sout Afkari is also in line with Al Hamra’s recent commitment to UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP), as one of the first companies in Kuwait to endorse the global pledge for gender equality and women empowerment.
KT: How can we watch the episodes?
Mansour: The 14 episodes will be broadcasted weekly every Saturday at 8:45 pm on Al Rai TV. The first episode, titled ‘You are beautiful’, focuses on issues related to female beauty, self-image, body expectations and more and will go live on Saturday, 1 December 2018.
They will also be aired on Al Hamra Social Media Accounts and on Sout Afkari dedicated YouTube channel. We look forward to everyone joining us in this initiative to trigger positive change in youth and build a brighter tomorrow.