Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Places in the heart

Egyptian Satellite Channel ( ESC) aired a series in Ramadan of last year ( October 2005 ), which I probably would not have noticed immediately had I any choice for Arabic entertainment at that time and place. With hindsight, I’ve concluded that it was meant to be; as this TV series deals with an important issue and was produced to tackle and discuss concerns that our Arab societies have been struggling with in the 21st century.

The series ( over 30 episodes ) is called ‘amaken fil alb’, my translation: ‘Places in the Heart’. It is evidently a budget production and is not grand on special effects and such. The plot is not that fantastic either. However, the nature of the topic brings itself front stage and is in line with current events within a social and human context and how world affairs have affected the ordinary lives of not only Egyptians but Arabs in general but more so their American counterparts and by extension the West. I believe there is a deep message in the developing story despite its superficial packaging.

In light of the recent events surrounding the so called Danish cartoons which have evolved quickly evolved into a world crisis of economic, diplomatic and social proportions, this story is even more relevant, as it uncovers the tip of the iceberg of our fears (or in this case western fears) of the other, stereotypes, respect, Islamphobia and Arabphobia - but also vice versa I must admit.

I think this TV series is important because it has been picked up for broadcast after Ramadan by the MBC Channel which is a very popular pan Arab satellite channel.

I’ll recount the story for you - those which have not seen it – and the non –Arab speakers ;). Maybe we can brainstorm the significance of the subliminal message if any. Should I have a reason to be apprehensive?

I have forgotten the names of most protagonists except for the 2 or 3 of them so I’ll chose for them names. If one of you has seen it let me know and I will correct them.

The scene opens with LAPD entering a suburban villa at night and arresting a lovely blond green eyed woman obviously dazed and in shock (Lina) and reading her the Miranda rights. Lina is covered in blood and still clutching a knife. The police are following a trail of blood which leads from the master bedroom to the terrace at the edge of a precipice on the ocean. They can’t find the body. ...

I will continue later tonight - having problems with my connection after the last storm, writing in an internet cafe is not too comfy.. don't go away :)


programmer craig said...

I object! They are already sterotyping blond women in Los Angeles as murderous bimbos!?

Just kidding :p

Looking forward to the rest. Hope your internet connection improves soon :)

Mohamed said...

The rest of the story please highlander.

Highlander said...

sequel coming today :)

Mohamed said...

Highlander, can you also mention the name of the actors playing the characters? Just to know if there's good acting or Khaled el Nabawy type cheesiness involved.

Natalie said...

I am currently in Egypt and they are showing Places in the Heart again! Its only on to Episode 7 however. We'll see how it pans out...