Eurovision 2013

Eurovision for the Arab World was announced in 2008

In a series looking a the spin-off shows based on the Eurovision Song Contest, we take you around the world looking at the events that never made it to television screens. The second edition of the series looks at a planned Eurovision contest for the Arab World.

The Arabvision Song Contest officially known as the Arabian Vision Song Contest was announced in January 2008 by the European Broadcasting Union. The format was sold to Nibras Media Ltd a Middle Eastern based media group, they would be working alongside the Tanweer Group. The contest was to be based broadly around the successful format of the Eurovision Song Contest but would take it to an Arab audience.

The following twenty-two countries would have been eligible to participate in the contest:

  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Comoros
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

What Happened to the Arabian Vision Song Contest?

Following the formal announcement of the contest no further news was released regarding the contest. It is thought that the contest never took place due to the financial crisis which started in 2008 followed by the Arab Spring. In the initial press release regarding the contest it was announced that a number of countries had an interest in hosting and participating in the first contest.

Arab nations in Eurovision

Three Arab nations have attempted to or have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since its inception in 1956, however none currently compete. These countries are:

  • Lebanon – Were due to participate in the 2005 contest in Kyiv however withdrew after failing to ensure that they would broadcast the Israeli performance. Lebanon had selected Aline Lahoud with the song “Quand tout s’enfuit” to compete. Lebanon was banned for three years from the contest, they have not shown an interest in competing since.
  • Morocco – Participated once in the contest in 1980, they were represented by Samira Said with the song “Bitaqat Hub”, they finished 18th out of 19 scoring just seven points. Morocco has not participated in the contest since, SNRT has shown no interest in participating in the contest.
  • Tunisia – Tunisia were due to participate in the 1977 contest in London and were drawn to perform fourth however withdrew from the contest. The reason for the Tunisian withdrawal was not established, they have also stated no interest in participating in the contest recently.

You can read the first part of the series regarding Eurovision in the United States here.