x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Beyond Borders: MBC documentary on Emiratis who volunteered in the Philippines

A new TV documentary follows six young Emiratis as they give up home comforts for life in the Philippines. The first episode will air on Friday at 2pm on MBC1.

Emirati adventurers, from left: Tasneem Alnaqbi, Mariam Al Kuwaiti, Fatima Abdulla Farah, Salem Bakheet Al Marar, an unidentified Filipino farmer, Ahmed Al Ghurair and Mohammed Al Ameri. Courtesy Beyond Borders
Emirati adventurers, from left: Tasneem Alnaqbi, Mariam Al Kuwaiti, Fatima Abdulla Farah, Salem Bakheet Al Marar, an unidentified Filipino farmer, Ahmed Al Ghurair and Mohammed Al Ameri. Courtesy Beyond Borders

ABU DHABI // A documentary series begins on Friday that tells the story of six young Emiratis who had to give up their comfortable lifestyles to live and work in the Philippines.

Over a period of 15 days, Beyond Borders documents the journey of three men and three women between 17 and 23 as they deal with their new surroundings and are taught a few life lessons along the way.

They were stripped of their electronic devices, phones, credit cards and money before they boarded the plane.

As a rule, they were only allowed items that their Filipino host families could afford.

Each worked in different industries across the country and was introduced to charitable programmes in order to teach them valuable lessons in empathy and how ordinary people can make a difference to society.

Thedocumentary, which is divided into six episodes, will start at 2pm on Friday on MBC1.

Since filming, many of the students have indicated a desire to continue doing charity work.

Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation, who recently released the Emirati feature-film Djinn, produced the programme.

“We are proud that Beyond Borders has tapped into Emirati youth culture, combining a real respect for tradition with a sense of curiosity and adventure about the world beyond their own nation,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, the chairman of Image Nation.

“The series seeks to educate as much as it entertains while promoting the values of the Abu Dhabi leadership, namely a respect for diversity, entrepreneurship, responsibility with money and broad-mindedness.

“We hope young Emiratis will be inspired to make a difference to their own community and learn that nothing should be taken for granted,” Mr Al Mubarak said.

“We are delighted to have secured this prestigious partnership with MBC,” said Michael Garin, the chief executive of Image Nation.

“It is fantastic that we will be able to engage the people of the UAE, the Middle East and the rest of the Arab world by harnessing MBC’s considerable reach for this important project.

“This is Image Nation’s first partnership with MBC, and is testament to the quality of the programming that our team and partners are producing,” he said.

The release of the programme also marks a successful relationship between Image Nation and broadcaster MBC.

“This partnership between MBC Group and Image Nation to broadcast Beyond Borders on MBC1 reflects the group’s commitment towards Arab youth while highlighting the value of their constructive experiences and challenges, from a physical point of view as well an intellectual one,” said Ali Jaber, MBC group TV director.

“We saw a very strong and meaningful message in this documentary, whether from a production stand point, technical or artistic, as well as cultural and moral messages targeted towards the youth of today, specifically Emiratis and is aligned with MBC Group’s overall content strategy that we are very keen on conveying to millions of Arabs in the region and outside,” he said.

ksinclair@thenational.ae