We are delighted to have the support of our media partners, Awaaz FM. We caught up with Founder and Project Manager, Ali Beg, to hear about what Southampton means to him and why Awaaz FM are backing the bid.
What are your links to Southampton?
Awaaz FM Community Radio is a Southampton born and bred community radio station broadcasting on 99.8 FM across the city. The radio station was set up after community consultation and with community need in mind. We currently broadcast in 9 different languages and growing (including English). Awaaz FM has its roots in the city and is proud to serve the residents of the city.
Do you have a Southampton hidden gem or top tip?
It might surprise you but my favourite hidden gem is the little off-road driveway at the mouth of the Totton by-pass and Redbridge Causeway! … I often used to come here to watch people fishing but more importantly watching the serenity of swans and nature – always worth a visit to help relax at the end of the day!
What does culture mean for you?
Culture to me means everyone in the city. It’s as much about the history of our city as it is about the people who live here. Our outlook, attitudes, values, morals, goals, and customs are shared. Southampton has world excellence in the fine arts and humanities and our culture inspires and stimulates creativity, innovation and ideas. Culture is as much about the appetite of dynamic and contemporary people as it is about our history, with a space to look towards the future. We are lucky to have such a diverse and welcoming population. If you try the food from every culture based in the city you will definitely have already visited every continent across the globe!
Can you describe Southampton in three words?
Yes …. It’s My City.
Awaaz FM has joined this bid because we are committed to ensuring that the vibrant and rich multicultural demographics of the city are represented through every business and organisation in the city. We are all proud of our city in different ways and it’s great to celebrate this difference together as one.
What benefit do you hope to see for your organisation employees or customers?
We hope to see an increase in tourism as well as an interest in Southampton’s cultural and diverse history not just now but from many hundreds of years before today. Many people don’t know that Southampton has been a welcoming city to different cultures since medieval times!
How do you think that UK City of Culture will impact Southampton and the wider region long term?
I have long argued that Southampton is the Cultural Capital of the South outside of London and I hope that the day will come when I see Southampton wearing this badge with pride. We have been at the forefront of bringing culture to this region and the UK City of Culture impact will bring this idea into reality.
Would you urge other businesses to back the bid and why?
Yes – because no-one can represent our city or talk about our city like we can! Every business is visited everyday by people of many different cultures. They stop and talk to us; we learn new things and celebrate new ideas from food to fashion and from business ideas to ideas that make our city better. Where else would you get this feedback from?