A Denmark-based serial entrepreneur, Maruf Yusupov, has come up with a video on demand streaming app for Muslim children called Ali Huda. The app is available on multiple devices andcan also be streamed online. “Our business model is quite similar to Netflix. We work with Islamic TV channels and independent production companies who produce quality content and license from them.”
Yusupov originates from Uzbekistan but moved to Denmark 14 years ago. “I have three kids and as a parent I’ve always been concerned about what my children are watching online. My friends would often complain about the same thing, until one day I realized I had to do something about it. The problem with YouTube is that parents lack control over what their children are watching. Kids can switch channels, click on ads, all within seconds.” Yusupov started working on Ali Huda earlier this year but the app officially launched two months ago in August.
Ali Huda provides curated shows for Muslim children according to different age groups. “The shows for younger age groups are shorter, around 2-5 minutes while the shows for older kids go on for 20 minutes.” The shows include educational programs, nasheeds, and songs for kids. “Brainy Bunch is one of our most popular shows where children learn valuable lessons. In the future, we’d also like to introduce shows about history and important Muslim scientific scholars who made significant contributions in world. We believe this will inspire children, encouraging them to do greater things.”
While the western world offers numerous options in terms of edutainment (educational entertainment), Yusupov stresses the need for curated content for Muslim children which can help them learn more about Islamic culture. “Aside from core human values which implies to everybody, we would also like children to pick up core Islamic values. Like how to say ‘Salam’ or say ‘Bismillah’” He also explains how these shows can particularly aid Muslim parents and children living abroad in Europe and North American states. However, at present, Ali Huda is also gaining popularity in Malaysia.
“Most of our shows are in English but in the future, we plan to dub the content according to different countries. People from all around the world can use Ali Huda as long as they enough bandwidth and the right payment cards. With Islamophobia on the rise, we hope Ali Huda will provide Muslim children the confidence they need to embrace their culture.”
Parents and children living in Pakistan can also stream Ali Huda online. The app is also available on multiple devices including Android and iOS.