Syrian Series “Bab Al Hara” and the Need to Combat Traditional Images of Women

Image from Bab Al Hara.

Every year, the holy month of Ramadan brings lots of spiritual moments, as well as hours of continuous entertainment in the form of shows and soap operas. Every Ramadan, I pick a number of soap operas to watch and write about. This year, there was a large number of television series that discussed issues faced by women in Arab societies. Some issues included women in prisons, such as Egyptian series Sijn Al Nesa, and women in wars and revolution, such as Syrian series Halawet Al Rouh.On … [Read more...]

Women in Gaza Underrepresented in Talent Shows

Scene from Najm Al Kitab.  Image via Alwatanvoice.com.

In recent years, there has been a flood of talent shows in the Arab world, with tens of thousands of young (and sometimes old) people showing their talents in different fields. These shows are Arabic editions of international shows that have witnessed continuous success among a universal audience. There are shows for singers, such as Arab Idol, X-Factor and The Voice. There are also shows for different kinds of talents, such as Arabs Got Talent. There are even shows designed especially for … [Read more...]

“Alice in Arabia” Sounds Like a New Drama That’s Going to Tell the Same Mind-Numbing Story

Cross-posted from Tumblr. We don’t know much about ABC Family’s new drama, “Alice in Arabia”, but I already have a feeling that it’s going to be pretty terrible. The network, which targets a younger crowd, has ordered three drama pilots, and one of them follows the story of a “rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian.” The show will apparently follow the title character in her fight to return … [Read more...]

Mata Najwa: A Rare Glimpse of Real Journalism in Indonesia

Image via matanajwa.com.

Sometimes I don’t know where to start when it comes to critiquing Indonesia’s media, especially television programs. There is so much gibberish that comes out of the TV screen – and increasingly so – these days that sometimes I feel my head is heavy with rants after watching just one program.Having seen so much disappointing content in the media, I found it extremely refreshing when my husband switched on the television a few nights ago and Mata Najwa was on. The program is a talk show ho … [Read more...]

One-Dimensional Hijab Stories

Image from the Hijab Stories tvOne Twitter feed.

In a previous post, I talked a little about the 99 Hijab Stories book and why the idea of the book made me squirm.I don’t know how succesful the book has been, but it certainly has generated enough hype that a few months later an Indonesian TV channel announced that it would air (*drumroll*) a TV show “inspired by the book”.The basic idea of the show is pretty much similar to the book: hijab-wearing public figures will be invited to the talk show to talk about why they wear the hijab … [Read more...]

Burka Avenger: Lady in Black

Image from the Burka Avenger website.

When I wear hijab, I find that the average Pakistani takes me a lot more seriously.  Vendors at farmer's markets don't over charge me for being a “valaithi” (foreigner); the guy at the pharmacy limits eye contact and listens politely while I discuss the pros and cons of generic versus brand medications.  I get fewer curious stares and far less incidences of “accidental” brush-ups when maneuvering crowded streets.  Even match-making mamas are impressed by my modesty (not my age, but that's another … [Read more...]

My Ramadan Media

You ain't cool if you don't love Ramadan.

Okay, okay. I know I'm not supposed to write a media analysis this Ramadan. In fact, one of my resolutions this Ramadan is to leave the television off as much as possible for the whole month.With a few exceptions, of course. For example, I have to switch on the television during sahoor time to watch my favourite Ramadan program, Tafsir Al Mishbah. Professor Quraish Shihab, the central figure of the lecture program, is a very knowledgeable man whose concise explanation of Qur’anic verses can t … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X