Amman Through the Eyes of Fares Sayegh
Mr. Fares Sayegh is the General Manager and shareholder of Roya, a TV channel targeting Jordanian community running live and recorded shows, consisting of 10 daily live programs ranging from news bulletins to other programs covering current affairs, family and youth issues. For more information about Roya TV, visit the following sites:
www.facebook.com/royatv / www.youtube.com/royatv / www.roya.tv
Prior to holding this position, he was the General Manager of WTV which was acquired by Sayeghgroup in 2009 and relaunched on January 1st., 2011 as Roya TV satellite channel.
Mr. Sayegh served in executive roles at the industrial sector between 2005-2011, including owner representative, general manager and shareholder of National Paints in Romania and the general manager of the Canning Industries in Jordan.
Mr. Sayegh holds a Bachelor of Science in System Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University, 2004. During his study, he worked on different projects within teams such as Arena simulation to floor planning team and industrial engineering team. He was also a web design intern in Sayeghgroup in 2003
Fares Sayegh is married and has a baby boy.
Fares, you have lived in Amman for over 24 years, what is the single most impressive development you’ve seen in the city over those years?
I would say the new buildings and streets, you would never think that unorganized and unstructured Amman can still look beautiful with its new look, but it does! At some point, I was impressed with the change of Abdoun roundabout, I remember when there was only one restaurant, but unfortunately its not the same anymore and the whole area changed.
As a teenager what were the things you enjoyed doing in Amman? What are your memories of the city?
I’d say two things: Thursdays leaving school and going to Chili house da7yeh and possibly spending the rest of the day walking from a place to another, between Shmeisani, Um Uthayna and Sweifieh. As well as the last day of each semester, I remember when I was a kid, it was the “hair cut day” (not sure why, maybe cause we were busy with exams), but it was the day where I’d go with my brother (Faeq, 6 years older) to paris round about (دوار الويبدة as I recall) and get a hair cut at Sami. I always liked that area and it seems that became a special place in amman.
You are the GM of Jordan’s pride – Roya TV: how is it being in that business? Gaining an audience? What were some of the toughest challenges?
Being in such business is very interesting and an eye opener to the inside/out of Jordan. its fun most of the time, but sometimes its completely the opposite!
Gaining an audience is the main target and we’re achieving that one step at a time. The toughest ongoing challenge is pleasing everyone. people aren’t the same, we have many differences and we have to please everyone if we want to reach our target.
Tell us about the Independance Day Logo – how was your experience in doing that? What motivated you?
I’ve had an idea long time ago, when we first started, to create a logo (based on the main one) for each occasion or special day. Not sure why I didn’t do it till now, but we did it once for Independence day and we asked the fans to sketch the logo and the winners logo was placed for 24 hours. Since you reminded me, soon you’ll start seeing new additions to the logo or a complete makeover to the current one.
What are your future plans for Roya TV? Will it ever become the national TV station for Jordan?
We hope to get accepted by 60 - 70% of the population and to be watched by them on a daily bases, not necessarily on TV, cause Ro’ya isn’t only a TV channel, Ro’ya hopes to become the first choice to any Jordanian for information and content on all different platforms.
We started with TV, then went online (via youtube) and soon information will be delivered through our news website which we’re just about to launch.
Ro’ya is a national TV station with an independent management. Just to clarify, JTV is a governmental station and we can consider Ro’ya is a national one.
Where do you enjoy grabbing a quick bite in Amman?
Abu Jbara, Chilli house, 3 saj, Day3a, ka3ek salah el dein
We must ask, what are your thoughts on public space in Jordan? It’s clearly lacking, what do you think should be done?
Ouch, I think the cost of making any change is extremely high because the foundation and infrastructure of the city wasn’t planned and executed correctly. I think first we need to point out the actual needs of the people of amman and start making changes according to priority, and its quite obvious that we have to start with public transportation and sidewalks.
If you were the Mayor of Amman with 10 million JD budget to spend on whatever you want – what would you do and why?
I’d invest in making a bigger version and better planned Rainbow street, with proper parking space and well selected shops/outlets.
Describe your typical Friday in Amman, what would you do?
I have to start with my coffee, read the paper and watch some of Helwa ya Donya, till I find a mistake then I turn off the TV.
Friday is a family day, so its either brunch or lunch and usually its one of those big meals where you cant eat anything else till the next day!
If someone is new to the city, what are 3 must dos?
- Drive around amman, east to west
- Eat local food
- Interact with ammanis,
Tell us about one local initiative you are proud of and support.
most of yours… supporting local products is the way to go! - www.golocaljo.com