“Nouadeh Lik” is a daily radio talk-show that tackles love, psychology and sexuality on Atlantic Radio, one of six private stations in Morocco. Every Thursday between 2 and 4 pm, Dr. Aboubark Harakat, a psychologist and sexologist, openly answers questions from listeners.
Openly talking about sexual issues with with a no-holds-barred attitude on the Moroccan airwaves would seem an impossible feat, but Nouadeh Lik (“I’ll explain” in Arabic), a daily show hosted by Chorouk Gharib on Atlantic Radio, begs to differ.
Aboubark Harakat, a sexologist and psychologist, has on every Thursday since 2008 hosted Nouadeh Lik, while tackling questions posed by a predominant female listenership between the ages of 25-45 years.
An editorial team suggests a weekly theme for the the two-hour show during which everything pertaining to the chosen theme can be addressed with without taboo. In recent times the panel has discussd subjects including premature ejaculation, impotence, oversized penises … “But not only that,” Aboubark Harakat interjects, “we also discuss issues related to communication between the couple, harassment at work, child-raising…”
Indeed, a recent show that exclusively dealt with the issue of affection, saw several listeners calling in to express their points of views. A man admitted to being unable to say “I love you” to his wife, whilst another argued that routine is bad for love. An older woman called in to say that after 30 years of “married life”, her absentee husband, in fact, “never existed”.
Hot topics are usually split into two programmes. “We have discussed issues related to how we consider other persons, and those pertaining to identity as well as sexual orientation, which have been very successful,” says the laid-back sexologist.
Although having a sense of humour is central to the show, “psychological or sexual abuse issues are taken seriously. We try to simplify them without being offensive. I also do my best to explain these things to people, and enlighten them,” says Aboubark Harakat.
Any taboo subjects? “None,” as long as the approach is handled carefully. “When we decided to address the issue of homosexuality, we did not tell our listeners that ‘today we will deal with homosexuality,’ we tried a different approach. We talked about gender identity and sexual orientation. And during the second part of the show (a week later), listeners felt more comfortable to talk about the subject,” says the specialist.
But the changing attitude, especially those related to debates on sex, is very recent. The emergence of free radio and talk shows has demystified taboos in only 3 or 4 years.
And Aboubark Harakat, who between 2007 and 2008 worked with a national radio programme called “Hawl Halwa” (responses to a state), argues that there has been a radical change in attitudes. “The shows could not be broadcast live. They were very restricted.”
However, though the team is free to talk about almost everything, one of thier shows that sought to deal with the question of masturbation was censured. “Although we have already discussed issues including pleasure and orgasm, masturbation but was not allowed.”
Nonetheless, Nouadeh Lik is a platform that allows Moroccans to freely express themselves with pleasure. “It’s important to open up. We need people to express themselves. The goal is not to make people uncomfortable, but rather to inform. ”
Surprisingly, despite the nature of the discussions, the initiative has never been criticised. “To my knowledge, I have never had any negative feedback,” says the specialist. By responding to the psychological and sexual issues in a scientific and informative manner, Nouadeh Lik may be here to stay.