Laiq Ahmad Mushtaq
Missionary In-charge Suriname
Suriname is the smallest independent country situated in South America and it is also the sole Dutch speaking nation on the continent. It is bordered by Guyana on the west and French Guiana on the east. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the north of the country and it also shares a land border with Brazil.
Due to the location of Suriname, receiving sustainable signals from the MTA satellite was difficult.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his helper, graciously approved the live broadcasting of MTA International on a local television channel through web-streaming. Rapar Broadcasting Network (RBN) is the oldest and one of the most popular TV channels in Suriname with coverage in most parts of the nation. The channel also demanded 50% less monthly charges compared to other popular channels.
By the grace of Allah, for the first time in the history of Suriname, the TV channel license was issued within three working days, even though the Telecommunication Authority Suriname (TAS) normally takes 4 to 6 weeks for this purpose.
On 15March 2019, the official launch ceremony was held at the capital city’s famous Lala Rookh hall.
The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including the director of the TAS, director of religious affairs, parliament members and representatives from interfaith and social organisations. Syed Naseer Ahmad Sahib, Director Satellite Operations for MTA International was also among the attendees.
The ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and its translation, followed by an introductory presentation about MTA International.
Speaking on the occasion, the director of the TAS, Mrs Wendy Klaas-Jap A Joe said:
“Usually I don’t attend the launch ceremonies of TV channels, but for the first time, we received an application which was complete in every aspect, and I was very much impressed in the way the application was submitted. That is why I decided to attend this ceremony to meet the people behind these efforts.”
Speaking on the occasion, the director of RBN said:
“We, Rapar Broadcasting Network (RBN), Suriname’s oldest broadcasting company, are honoured to partner up with the Jamaat. This organisation, as you know, will transmit its Islamic content through our channel, 5.3.
“It is the first time in our history that we are going into a partnership with a third party to broadcast their feed on a daily basis.”
He also remarked:
“The programmes of MTA will open a new experience for the Surinamese audience because the peaceful religious information will be broadcast in proper English and Urdu. The Surinamese audience can not only learn about the religious information but also hear the proper use of the Urdu and English languages.”
At the end, the Jamaat’s literature and MTA souvenirs were presented to some of the dignitaries. The ceremony was closed with a silent prayer and afterwards, lunch was served to all attendees.
By the grace of Allah, the launch of MTA International in Suriname got a lot of media attention, both in electronic and print media with coverage in almost 30 different articles and reports.