American Crime Episode 5 Recap

Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)It was a quiet show for Aliyah this week, where she shared only one scene with her brother, Carter. She sets him up with an apartment in Modesto, and has a job lined up for him at the masjid. He’s still struggling with calling her by her Muslim name:It goes downhill for Carter once Aliyah leaves, as he: meets Aubry, loses his tracking device, sets off to leave the country, … [Read more...]

American Crime Episode 4 Recap


Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)American Crime settled into a more police-procedural tone last week, as Carter attended his bail hearing. We get to know more about Aliyah this episode, as she devotes herself to helping her brother. They continue their strained, racially charged relationship, when she visits him in jail along with an attorney. She still insists he change his behavior and try to get his life back on … [Read more...]

American Crime Review: Introducing Aliyah Shadeed

Regina King as Aliyah Shadeed. Source.

 On Thursday nights in the United States, ABC airs American Crime, an 11-part series that looks at a murder that took place in Modesto, California. The story doesn’t follow the detectives around as they solve a mystery-of-the-week like most crime shows, though, and instead focuses on the lives of everyone else involved and the relationships between one another.Each week reveals a new layer of information for each of the characters, who include:the couple—a murdered husband and a … [Read more...]

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

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

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...]