Connecting Palestinian Jerusalemites

From Beit Hanina al-Jadida, the heart of Jerusalem, the studios of Radio Yaboos broadcast on 87.8 FM as the first and only independent Palestinian radio station in the city of Jerusalem, providing an independent, professional media platform without borders. Yaboos FM Radio airs moderate and balanced reports and media that promote the concepts of freedom and dignity and aim to upgrade the status and place of humans in Jerusalem. We appreciate entrepreneurship, leadership, and courage that engages in creating a better future. We care about quality and respect diversity, freedom of expression, and all spectrums of society.

Adele Zu’mot, a main presenter at Radio Yabous.

Radio Yaboos makes real its founders’ goal to create a local media platform for marginalized voices that are not heard on mainstream media. It is the only media body in Jerusalem that addresses Palestinian entrepreneurs in general and Jerusalemites in particular, as they are the main target, in addition to small-business owners. Radio Yaboos creates a large media space that offers Jerusalemites the opportunity to talk about their own concerns and aspirations. It aims to promote ideas and help find solutions in the social, economic, health-related, educational, and cultural fields.

Introducing Jerusalemite listeners to concepts regarding civil and human rights, Radio Yaboos aims to put into practice the guarantees that have been enshrined in human rights conventions, namely the dignity and freedom of the individual, the right to freedom of expression, the right to work and housing, and the right to reject all manifestations of racism that are based on national, ethnic, or religious affiliation. In addition, Radio Yaboos works directly with officials and advisers to identify the most pressing problems that face Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem in various aspects of their lives.

At Radio Yaboos, we hope to be a “fourth authority” in Jerusalem, with all that this term means. We strive to become an integral part of the community’s texture and to speak on behalf of Jerusalemites. Being the only Palestinian media service platform in Jerusalem, we aim to influence the attitudes and directions of Jerusalemites by offering objective information in addition to the media and (free) advertising services regarding employment opportunities and start-ups, thus positively affecting the economic, commercial, and cultural activity in the city.

Radio Yaboos airs short informative programs in tweet-style, which appeals to young audiences who are not interested in long reports. Hon Irbena (Here We Were Raised), for example, revolves around issues related to Palestinian heritage and introduces the old villages of Jerusalem whose residents were either forced to leave or killed. In two-minute clips, places such as Deir Yassin are introduced – their location, size, income resources, and more – to revive their memory among our new generation. Makan min Zaman (A Place from the Past) presents short blurbs about famous buildings in Jerusalem – places such as Cinema Al-Hamra; the Augusta Victoria Compound on the Mount of Olives that has served as a hospital for more than a century; Rashidiyyeh School that used to be a hospital; and Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, across from New Gate, that has hosted pilgrims since the 1880s – many of which we pass daily without knowing their stories or former glory. With such tweets, Radio Yaboos aims to keep Palestinians connected to their heritage in the city.

Radio Yaboos is a digital platform that aims to empower and connect its listeners.

“From the outset, we have taken it upon ourselves to make this station noncommercial, as we do not broadcast any advertisements. Nor do our programs include any news spots or long talk shows,” co-founder Adele Zu’mot explains. “Our goals include education and entertainment. But we consider entertainment to have a special dimension in terms of the music we select. Our broadcasts and programs are chosen based on valuable standards. We want to create an opportunity for our listeners to be entertained through direct participation and live programs.”
Radio Yaboos thus broadcasts a mixture of short programs that offer music and variety throughout the day. Hosted specialists shed light on the issues that are pertinent in East Jerusalem, putting them into focus and discussing their various aspects in short programs.

A street in the old city of Jerusalem.

Radio Yaboos’s first target group consists of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, estimated to be 340,000 persons, 89 percent of whom are adults. The second target group includes the entire spectrum of Palestinian listeners, whether they live in Palestine or in the diaspora worldwide, as they can tune in over the station’s mobile apps or directly from our website “The relationship between listeners and radio is unique, as one can listen to it everywhere,” Zu’mot states. “Radio, therefore, is an ideal medium for entertainment and a source of credible information that can reach listeners in record time. Furthermore, it can communicate with listeners of all age levels and at all times and places.”