Abdulmalik Abdullah Al-Samawi: “Cinema is as important as TV and Radio, hence it should be nurtured similarly.” [Archives:2001/35/Last Page]

August 27 2001

Abdulmalik Abdullah Al-Samawi is a popular TV anchorman on the Yemen Satellite Channel. His program ‘Cinema Club’ has attracted many people nationwide. His first appearance on TV was in 1976. His high score at the secondary school examination entitled him to a scholarship to Cairo where he was supposed to study medicine. But his desire to be a film-director got the better of him. He changed his mind and instead focused on studying Cinema and TV Production. Following his graduation in 1992 he came back home to work for Yemen’s TV. Nabil Al-Kumaim met him at his work place and filed the following interview with him:
Q: What was your first program and when ?
A: It was ‘An Hour on Air’ in 1976. It was directed by Abdulaziz Al-Harazi.
Q: You run ‘Al-Amjad Advertising Company. Do you think of establishing a film production company?
A: I have this desire, but our current situation doesn’t encourage me to do so.
Q: In other countries you can go to cinema with your family, relatives, and friends. When do you expect we can do that?
A: When we have good cinemas with comfortable chairs, air-conditioning facilities, latest movies, etc. I hope that the Minister will consider changing this miserable situation.
Q: How do you think authority can develop cinema’s role in society?
A: The cinema is as important as TV and radio, hence, it should be given the same attention. Yemen possesses a few recreation facilities such as public parks, clubs, etc. We hope that the Ministry of Culture will pave the way for the establishment of decent and advanced cinemas as an alternative.
Q: Many people admire your ‘Cinema Club’? What do you think is special about this program?
A: I put all of my knowledge about cinemas in this program. My aim is to create awareness amongst the Yemenis about the importance of cinema. The spontaneous and simple presentation of the program also helped captured the audience’ attention.
However, I do have to confess that due to lack of financial resources, we can not provide the latest movies. The average cost of the high-quality film is about USD 1000. Presently, I am trying to persuade some businessmen and companies to patronize my program. I think this is the only salvation to enable me to present the best and the latest movies.
Q: What about the forthcoming Ramadhan programs? do you have any thing special to present?
A: Certainly. For the fourth time I will be presenting the contest program with a slight difference. This year’s prizes will be more lucrative totaling YR6 million.
Q: What about your future plans?
A: There will be many surprises in the Holy month of Ramadhan. Sorry for not disclosing them now. But I am sure that they will gain the people’s appreciation.
Q: What kind of problems are there in your career?
A: The key problem lies in the media facilities in general and the cinema facilities in particular. This is an information age, and unfortunately, we are still using very old cameras, machinery, etc.