On Thursday, while flying from Qatar to France on a very nice Qatar Airlines passenger jet, I watched a 2012 Jordanian film entitled When Monaliza Smiled (لما ضحكت موناليزا; Lamma Dehket Monaliza).
It’s a light romantic comedy. Not great, but pleasant. And very human. (With subtitles, for those of you who don’t speak Arabic.)
It occurred to me while watching it that many people who fear Muslims and Arabs and the Middle East might feel better if they watched a few such films. Doing so would lessen the strangeness and foreignness and sheer “otherness” that scares a lot of people. They would see Muslims as people who are, in many ways, not so very different from themselves. And they would see a sympathetic treatment of the society and the culture.
So I encourage any of you who might be so inclined to get hold of a copy of the film, if you can, and to watch it.
Posted from Carentan, Normandy, France