Kabayan Weekly Will Connect Filipinos in Dubai

By on April 19, 2011

A newspaper targeting the readership of the country’s burgeoning population of expatriate Filipinos will be ready to roll off the presses in the next few weeks.

Atallah Habib, left, the owner and publisher of Kabayan Weekly, talks to editor-in-chief, Camcer Ordonez Imam, right, and designer Mohamed Manampan, seated, at their office in Dubai.
Source: THE NATIONAL

The editors of Kabayan Weekly are planning an initial print run of 40,000 copies, with plans to distribute the 32-page tabloid paper across the country, said the owner and publisher Atallah Habib, 51, a US citizen originally from Syria.

The paper is to be published every Sunday, with the first edition printed either next month or in early June.

After four free issues, the cover price will be Dh2. Kabayan Weekly will be produced by Al Hilal Printing and Publishing Services, which is based in Dubai.

More than 600,000 Filipino expatriates live and work in the UAE, accounting for about 12 per cent of the country’s population.

Kabayan, derived from the Tagalog word bayan, which means “town” or “homeland”, is a term used by Filipinos when addressing a compatriot.

Sixty per cent of the paper will be written in Tagalog, with the rest – business, sport and some features – in English. And although the paper is intended to fill a perceived gap in the market, Mr Habib’s goals are not entirely business-orientated.

His interest in the project began in 2007, when as the part owner of a company that hired nurses from the Philippines, he first heard about the hardships Filipinos can face during the process of being recruited.

He heard stories of Filipinos mortgaging their homes or taking huge loans, only to be duped by illegal recruiters who promise non-existent jobs in the UAE. Once here, they could be exploited by employers who did not provide them with a visa, which meant they must make regular “visa runs” to Oman or Iran’s Kish Island, where they could also become stranded.

“It made me feel bad,” he said. “I don’t want other Filipinos to go through the same experience.”

In an effort to spread the word about some of the pitfalls involved with seeking work in the UAE, the company will provide copies of Kabayan Weekly to airlines with direct flights between the UAE and the Philippines.

“If they read about the country’s laws while on the plane, it might prevent them from being cheated,” he said. “We’d like to let them know about their government’s efforts to protect Filipino migrant workers’ rights abroad.”

Unlike its failed predecessor, Pinoy News, which was not granted a licence to publish a tabloid in 2004, Kabayan Weekly was approved, this month, by the UAE’s National Media Council.

Editor-in-chief Camcer Ordonez Imam, 48, is a Filipino Muslim newly arrived in the UAE from Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. “In the UAE, some publications got into trouble with the government,” Mr Habib said. “But a Filipino Muslim editor would know what is acceptable or not.”

A journalist with more than 15 years experience in print and broadcast news, Imam said this was his first overseas stint.

He will lead a team of 20 Filipino journalists. In addition to the main office in Dubai, the paper will have a bureau in Abu Dhabi and one in the Philippines, co-ordinating the work of reporters across that country.

The editorial staff will total 20; about a third have already been recruited. Expansion plans would see additional bureaus in Al Ain and the Northern Emirates.

“We’ll have several human interest stories that Filipinos can relate to,” Imam said. “We hope to reach out to them and encourage some form of interaction.”

Victor Era, 33, is a maintenance engineer in Dubai and president of Kabayan Kabit Bisig, a group that helps Filipino expatriates in need. He said the newspaper would appeal to a wide variety of Filipinos.

Art Los Banos, 44, an exhibition solutions consultant in Dubai, said he hoped the paper could entertain all those Filipinos who did not have frequent access to the internet.

“What the Filipino community really needs is a communications forum where new information from the UAE and Philippine governments [is] regularly printed,” he said.

“This can have a big impact on the livelihood of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the UAE.”

Source: THE NATIONAL

allan boy barbecho says:

pwedi po bang magreklamo tungkol sa aking sitwasyon,empleyado po ako ng americana kuwait food company,mag-iisang buwan na po akong resign nagstopwork po ako noong april28 hangang ngayon po ay nandito pa ako sa U.A.E,sa kadahilanang ayaw po sagutin ng company ko ang exit ticket ko,pinabayad po ako ng company sa nagamit kong vacation ticket noong nakaraang december na sa pagkakaalam ko po ay prebeleheyo ko ito kasi sa mahabang panahon na serbisyo ko sakanila at pinabayad din po ako ng 45days sa aking sahod.4 years in 9 months po ako sa aking company,sana po ay matulungan nyo po ako salamat po.ako po c allan boy barbecho mobile no,0554801178.

duh says:

bakit meron pang religious na nailalathala sa kabayan weekly news…pede bang tanggaling un? nakakawalang gana magbasa sa dyaryo na to….di naman lahat gusto magbasa nun

ppdelacruz says:

Magandang araw po.

Isa pa akong ofw na kasalukuyang nagtatrabaho d2 sa dubai, nais ko pong isangguni sa inyo ang aking nalalaman upang malaman din ng kapwa ko ring ofw d2 sa dubai. regular customer po ako ng alanzari exchange rigga br. dubai, nagpadala po ako ng pera noong oct. 29, 2011 sa hongkong sa halagang HK$3,020.00 (1,500.00 dirhams) included all fees and bank charges in hongkong, nagtaka ang wife ko ng mareceived nya ang bank statement nya sa hongkong, ang na credit na amount lang ay HK$ 2,680.10 base sa bank statement nya, pano pong nangyari ito samatalang sa transfer note ko dto sa dubai ay exact po ang amount na pinadala ko (binayaran ko na rin d2 sa dubai ang bank charges sa hk at charges dto). at di lamang unang pangyayari ito, dahil nung i-check ko ang previous transfer receipt ko, tama nmn pa ang nakalagay na amount, pero pagdating sa beneficiary ko ay kulang na. Pano ko po mabawi ang binawas nilang perang pinadala ko?

Ano po ang dapat kong gawin? isa a main concern ko po ang iba nating kawawang kababayan natin d2 na nagpapadal regularly sa kanikanilang pamilya at di nila napapansain ang ganitong pagsasamantala sa ating mga kababayan, Sana po maprotektahan ang aming hard earned money na napunta lamang sa mapagsamantala. Sana po matulungan ninyo ang aking pagkabahala sa ganitong kalakaran ng mga money exchange d2 sa dubai. madalas po nilang tinatanong kung first time ako magpapadala samantalang madalas po nmn sa kanila ako nagpapadala buwan buwan.

Gusto ko rin pong ipaalam sa lahat ng kababayan natin d2 sa dubai maging sa ibang bansa na suriin mabuti at alamin sa kanilang beneficiary / recipient kung tama at sakto ang ipinadala nilang pera. Sana po wag nating isawalang-bahala ang pagkahabag ko sa ating mga ofw na nagsisikap ding kumita sa ibang bansa at napapagsamatalahan ng walang kamalaymalay lalo na sa mga first timer na nag papadala ng pera, di na nila napapansin nabawasan ang kanilang pinadalang pera para sa pamilya nila.

Tulungan nyo po kaming mga ofw na masawata ang ganitong kalakaran at maalerto ang ating mga kababayan sa pagsasamantalang ito. Umaasa po ako sa inyong mabilis na aksyon at mapapanagot po ang may kagagawan.

Lubos na gumagalang

ppdelacruz@gmail.com
Rigga, Dubai UAE

redge seyer says:

How can I get a copy of it, back here in manila?

Prakash says:

How can I make payment for Kabayan Weekly Subscription and where should I contact?

Sharon_casipong says:

May I have your contact number,for the company advertisement quotation.thanks