Monday, October 10, 2005

Hur al3ayn - aka the '72 virgins' - and other Ramadan TV series

Sandmonkey is surprised that "there is a syrian TV-show, being broadcasted on a Saudi-owned TV network, during Ramadan, that attacks terrorism and Jihadis."

I was deploring the fact that I have no satellite TV to watch here while abroad ..but look forward to seeing the re-run or at least the last episodes soon, but I did not think that the foreign media will pick up on what we watch in Ramadan ;) Boy was I wrong eh ? This series is now going to be praised in the West and damned by the militants lol.

Najdat Anzour's series are ALWAYS great, the man is a genius.

Let's recall another controversial series last Ramadan : The Road to Kabul a love story in Afghanistan, which had to be taken off the air, apparently due to threats from militants also who did not want any badmouthing of the Taliban.
But somebody has another plausible 'conspiracy' theory and rumours :

'One such is that Condoleezza Rice, President George W Bush's national security advisor, phoned the Qatari leaders to ask them not to air the series.'


'The series is woven around a love story between a Palestinian whose parents lost their homes when Israel was created, and an Afghan woman whose family were forced to flee Kabul when the Communists seized power in 1979.
Once he develops an interest in the Afghan imbroglio, the Palestinian quickly concludes that this is the wrong war, provoked by the United States against the Soviet Union in the context of the Cold War. In one dramatic scene, he gives an Arab volunteer who is going to Afghanistan a lecture on how the whole thing is an American conspiracy to divert attention from the only war that matters: The war to liberate Palestine, presumably by wiping Israel off the map.
That view is hammered in throughout. One scene shows American intelligence agents encouraging Afghans to grow opium poppies that can then be used to produce heroin to be sold to Soviet soldiers.'

very very's a pity they cancelled it .

Apparently the series 'suggests that the jihadists chose the wrong enemy.'

No Comment .

Check the whole essay here.

Talking about controversial Ramadan series, we can't forget the Egyptian Horseman without a Horse aired in 2002 in spite of US and Israeli requests that it be banned as anti-Semitic, because *gasp* 'it includes a sub-plot involving a [n allegedly] forged document - the Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. It gets funnier because forty-six members of the US Congress saw it as their duty to actually send a letter to President Mubarak expressing concern about it. hmmm talk about heavy lobbying here. If they had actually watched the show this is what they would find, read Alahram article about it.

'The show reviews the history of Arab struggle against imperialism, from Ottoman rule to British occupation. It tackles the Balfour Declaration and the role of imperialism in planting Israel in the region, together with the Jewish assault on the rights of the Palestinian people. The show only mentions The Protocols in passing.'

I enjoyed watching the show even though I think that Muhamad Subhi 's ( Egyptian actor) theatrical antics were overdone. But honestly without the hysterical outpouring from the international media I probably would have skipped it .. on hindsight maybe they should not have concentrated on it mush kiddah ? ;)

Thank you ( to whoever is in charge) for not cancelling it and hardluck for caving in on The Road to Kabul

Here is a good list of this year's Arab crop, here also . Unfortunately I can't see any of these at the moment. So I get to watch only one Ramadan series on Masriya TV: Places in the Heart- which so far looks a tiny bit *ahem* controversial to me..... more on that later ;) excuse me now I have to go and break my fast....


programmer craig said...

Hi there, Highlnader... glad you found some time to pst today, and such an interesting post too!

Re:The Road to Kabul

# a love story in Afghanistan

no comment :)

Gonna list some things from that essay you didn't quote:

# by a group of Palestinian and
# Jordanian filmmakers

Is there even a difference between Jordanians and Palestinians? In any case, this statement told me all I needed to know about what that series was going to be about. America bashing and Jew baiting. That's all I see on Jordanian blogs, and it's all I see on Palestinian blogs. They are hate-fests. That's another topic though.

#the Palestinian quickly concludes
#that this is the wrong war

But of course! I could have predicted that for him from here in California, all he had to do was ask! And then he wouldn't have wasted his time going to Afghanistan!

# provoked by the United States
# against the Soviet Union in the
# context of the Cold War.

But how did the US force the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan?

# The agent says that the US has
# tested the method with "The Opium
# War" that brought China to its
# knees in the 19th century. (The
# US, of course, had nothing to do
# with the Chinese Opium War that
# involved only the British at the
# time.)

How is it that the film-makers were so ignorant of basic world history? Is the viewer supposed to ignore blatantly false content, as long as it supports their conspiracy theory?

Apparrently so!

# In order to portray the American
# as evil incarnate, the series
# tries to humanize the Soviet
# occupation. The Red Army is
# represented by a number of kindly
# officers led by a bumbling general
# with a special fondness for the
# bottle.

Yes. Everyone knows what great humaitarians the Soviets were :D

# In fact, the "Arab Afghans" never
# numbered more than 3,000 compared
# to over 250,000 native Afghan
# fighters operating in dozens of
# guerrilla groups throughout the
# country.

Oops. There goes the basic premise of the series, I guess! Right out the window! Lets not worry about details, though, we have a conspiracy theory to roll out here!

Sarcasm aside, I'm glad the series was not aired. That kind of propaganda gets people killed.

As for the other show you mention, Horseman Without a Horse, I found the first sentence in your link from Al-Ahram very telling!

# The hysterical Israeli and
# American reaction to the
# television show Horseman Without a
# Horse is indicative of the way the
# Zionist media machine seeks to
# twist facts and distract attention
# from the real issues.

Ah... that would be the other kind of fact twisting, I guess... the type of fact twisting where what you say actually has some resemblance to the truth? As opposed to the kind of fact twisting demonstrated by Jordanian and Palestinian film makers in the first example, where they just swap out Britain's history with America's history, make the Soviet invaders of Afghanistan into the good guys, and make Osama bin Laden and 3000 Arabs the great heroes of the Afghan war?

What... ever!


Nice post btw highlander, thank you. Sarcasm aside, I really enjoyed ranting about that one program, that's exactly the sort of show that makes my skin crawl.

Tarek said...

Don you think that Salafi's and Zionists do have the same way of thinking anyway. Different faces, but smae minds.

hassan said...

Hi there Highlander. I've been watching the hoor al ain show, and so far it's pretty boring and not realistic at all. I've lived in KSA for 5 years and life in compounds is not at all like they protray it. Also they're wasting too much time on stupid little plots that I don;t see how they will help the central premise of the show.

Highlander said...

Hi P-Craig , glad you're back to commenting here ;)

[Gonna list some things from that essay you didn't quote:]

Yes but I did provide the link and suggested people go and read it all... right?

Palestinians are different than Jordanians even if about 70% of Jordan are naturalised Palestinians otherwise they would have said Jordanians of Palestinian origin. The Palestinians of Jordan (and I've spoken with many) never let you forget they are Palestinians.

So you immediately struck off the show when you saw/read who made it ? that is equivalent to me saying that I know exactly what an American film on Arabs or Muslims would be : stereotyping etc... while it would not necessarily be so.
That is why we keep a critical eye and that is why this show should have been aired ...not to give the chance for hate to fester.

Of course for a Palestinian this would be the wrong war , however I have not seen the show and it seems not many people have seen and only a few have watched the first episodes which were aired so we do not really know what was the message of the series and that is why I provided links from Western sources and from a controversial source to show how conspiracies theories can be spun if one does not have the full picture ;)

No Comment about Jordanian blogs, I've only been to a few who spoke about the fun things they were doing .

[Oops. There goes the basic premise of the series, I guess! Right out the window!]

I'm sorry I did not get that , you were referring to Arab Afghans, do you mean their numbers in comparison to the Afghan warriors ?

With regard to Horseman without a Horse,judging from the media and political rhetoric at that time it did actually sound pretty histerical for an insignificant show right ? but in this manner they thrust it in the limelight and thousands of people watched . By this action they lent shape to the rumours that the alleged 'zionist' media is controlling the strings ....and they sent tongues wagging ...

[and make Osama bin Laden and 3000 Arabs the great heroes of the Afghan war?]

Actually P-Craig the Aghan warriors including their Arab supporters were the great heroes of the Arab wars. Although we know that without foreign sponsoring and military aid from the west which was fighting a proxy war they may not have done much ;) And if they were not the heroes they were still seriously protrayed to be so and praised - (including OBL)by MSM media, films ( Rambo and James Bond for example), academics, US government and pretty everybody in the West back then ...So I'm at loss here.It is only when the Soviet army was vanquished followed by the break up of the mujahideen into the Northern Alliance and Taliban that the tables started to turn...

You're welcome PC , I actually enjoy your 'ranting' immensely :)

Highlander said...

Tarek.. yes I agree with you re.Salafists and Zionists both intolerant extremist nuts!

Highlander said...

Hassan thanks for giving me a glimpse into the show...they are wasting time because this is Ramadan and they need the prerequisite 30 episodes remember :) this makes for a lenghty show bordering on soap opera hence the side plots. On the other hand this is a dramatization not a documentary and Najdat Anzur has pretty much invented the 'fantasia' series in the Arab world has he not ? that is why we love him so much ...I'm sure you're right about life in compounds in KSA though. Thanks for visiting but you did not leave your link ?

Nura said...

I wonder why they choose Ramadan for such shows. Is it because they know the Arab world is watching so they want to hammer in propaganda? Ramadan is meant to be a time of peace and tranquility and yet the Arabs seem to love boiling their fellow peoples' blood. The main reason why I just don't watch Arabic TV is that EVERYTHING is political in some way or another.. drives me crazy. Great post though, very educational.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

don't you think that the US secretary of states has better things to do than managing TV shows?

Highlander said...

Et Bien Voxpopuli Merci pour la visite :) Bien sur je ne pense pas que Dr. Rice n'a rien a faire que de regarder la tele , si tu as lu mon poste et commentaire tu auras compris que ce n'etait qu'une illustration mais pas mon opinion opinion... n'est-ce pas?

But as I said I always love debate! hope I have not made too many errots there in French it's been kind of rusty ;)

Highlander said...

In my post above to P-Craig I meant Afghan War instead of Arab Wars