Muscat: Oman TV has taken on a big challenge this Ramadan as it competes with hundreds of other channels by telecasting a variety of special cultural, entertainment and religious programmes.
Many Omani viewers believe Oman TV programmes have improved and the channel is "growing up" since the General Authority for Radio and Television was established. Some, however, say that the channel has been producing rather similar dramas and programmes as shown over the last five years of Ramadan.
An official at the Oman TV told the Times of Oman that it is too early to make a judgement about the channel's programmes since these are only the initial days of Ramadan.
The official added that Oman TV has produced a variety of local cultural, religious and entertainment programmes that would reflect Omani life and social values.
Dr Abdullah Al Harasi, chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television, reiterated that the authority is always working to promote Omani dramas and plans are in place to ensure good quality.
Al Harasi pointed out that all the drama scripts are reviewed first to ensure that they reflect the reality of the country.
Omani shows and serials being broadcast this Ramadan include Thakeerah, Reyheet Biladi, Al Kass, Tamar wa Laban, Neema Daymah, Asmaa Meen Beladi, Biyoot Al Rahman, Al Kilimah Al Taybah, Rood wa Mozn, Phi Baytana Qadi and Samrat Eid.
Thakeerah features Omanis who have valuable antiquarian acquisitions. It will feature rare historic manuscripts, antiques and pictures. Al Kass is a telephone quiz competition coinciding with the Fifa World Cup 2014.
Besides Tamar wa Laban, a general health show and Neema Daymah, a live cookery show, a cultural show Asma'a min Oman is targeted at children. This show aims at highlighting the cultural and historic places of the country.
Inspired by Ramadan's ethics, Al Kilimah Al Taybah tackles the etiquette of dialogue and speech.
Biyoot Al Rahman focuses on Sultan Qaboos Mosques' spread across Oman. The programme highlights the interest shown by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said in architecture, construction and maintenance of
Phi Baytana Qadi is a serial drama that discusses family issues in a comic style, with the participation of non-Omani actors and actresses along with Omani counterparts.
Another serial is Rood wa Mozn, a love story that evolves against the backdrop of the Arab desert.
Meanwhile, a majority of the Omani audience still prefer old dramas. Saed wa Saeeda, Fajoorah wa Shanjoob, Shayeb Khalaf, Jumah phi Mahab Al Reeh and Al Jeeran are listed among these unforgettable old Omani dramas.
Therefore, it is no surprise that most Omanis prefer radio to TV because the quality of radio shows and serials in which the old actors and actresses take part, is much better.
Some Omani actors and actresses, such as Fakriyah Khamis, Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Shumah Mohammed, and Buthaina Al Raisi have taken up acting contracts in other GCC countries because of what they perceive as better opportunities and future of the dramatic arts.
Last year, thousands of people had requested the General Authority for Radio and Television to revise the scripts of serials and to keep them in conformity with the present day reality.
Omani audience hope that Ramadan shows and serials will be much different and depict the advances in drama production after many years of disappointing TV productions.
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