First femme channel in Arab world

Nefertiti Channel bows in Middle East

CAIRO — The U.S. can boast the Lifetime Channel and the Health Channel among a plethora of specialty TV stations for women. And now Egyptian women have their own health and beauty web — the Nefertiti Channel, named after the ancient Egyptian queen.

Channel airs on government-run Nile Sat for 16 hours a day. The first in the Middle East, it conjures up an image of beauty that appeals to Egyptians.

“In our country, we put a crown on each woman and respect her,” says Mahmoud Abo El Nasr, undersecretary of health and population, whose Health Ministry sponsors the Nefertiti Channel.

“We depend on women in society, so we decided to start a channel just for women oriented to health education.”

The channel offers shows on cooking, beauty, sex education, health and child care as well as the popular “For Our Daughters” and “Call Me,” in which doctors and nurses answer phone calls on health issues.

There is even, somewhat ironically, “For Men Only,” dealing with sensitive sexual topics.

Emphasizing “woman power,” the director of the channel, Fatma Fouad, who doubles as a newscaster for Egyptian TV, says: “We show that women have an upper hand in education and health.

“After the success of my popular TV program ‘Ask Me’ on social and medical women problems, they appointed me to head Nefertiti.”

And she notes with pride, “A film we produced on illegal female circumcision in Egypt won this year’s Silver Prize at the Camar TV Festival .”

Fouad joins a select group of top female execs who head Egyptian TV channels.

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