City of Brass

City of Brass


a couch potato Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The lighter side of Ramadan in the Arab world – soap operas:

Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels.
Millions of dollars are spent on special programming, much of it
comparable to Western soap operas, to entertain the masses during their
sunrise-to-sunset fasts.

One program, the popular Syrian
production “Baab El-Hara” — “The Neighborhood Gate” — offers high
drama focused on a family feud. A man and his pregnant wife are
separated as their mothers fight it out, with each mother-in-law trying
to teach the other a lesson.

The woman misses her husband and
wants to go back to him. The husband kisses his mother’s hand and
promises her he’ll do only what she wants.

The soaps showcase
social traditions mixed with melodramatic characters and enough twists
and turns of events to last the entire month of fasting.



  • Tom

    No offense, but from the standpoint of us western ‘contemporaries’, only one month of soaps seems rather skimpy. We make the screenwriters for our soaps work their fingers to the bone, churning stories that last at least a full season a year to remain competitive. One month is roughly equivalent to a mini-series. On the flip-side, however, the bulk of what we know about Middle-Eastern culture probably comes from the looney-tunes adaptation of 1001 Arabian Nights (with Bugs Bunny staring as the storyteller and Yo-Sammadi-Sam staring as the sultan holding him captive; reminds me of when John Wayne starred as Genghis Kahn in ‘The Conquerer’.)
    Maybe we need a Catholic screenwriter to churn stories for Lent each year. I got it! A wife and mother of two develops Parkinsons’ but her attractive female neurologist says that her only hope is regenerative embryonic-stemcell therapy. The husband and the physician discuss it over a few dinners and end up having a torrid love affair. He ends up loosing his religion but remains crypto-Catholic in lue of his strict, religious, domineering mother-in-law. Eventually he mustars up the courage to stand up to her and take his kids out of parochial school, leaving the afflicted wife and shacking up with the neurologist. Wow, this storyline could be stretched out to 3 or 4 Lenten Seasons. Too bad I let the cat out of the bag (there go thoes royalties!)

Previous Posts

Vote now in the (delayed slightly) Brass Crescent Awards!
Voting in this year's Brass Crescent Awards is now underway, after a few months' delay. Here's the explanation from the official site: We would like to sincerely apologize for the delay in this year's voting. The reason for the delay was that we did not have sufficient blogsphere nominations as w

posted 10:30:42pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Midamar halal beef - charged with fraud
This is disturbing news - the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims: The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered by hand by specially trained Muslim slaughtermen w

posted 10:45:40pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

men should accept blame; women should assert agency
The following rant was posted on Facebook by a friend of mine, and I have her permission to reproduce it in its entirety. Systems of patriarchy are sometimes so entrenched, we just accept them as part of normal daily interactions. Popular discourse often maintains that it's men who do such and s

posted 10:56:12pm Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »

My first day of wearing rida to school
Zainab Jamali is a teenaged Muslim American girl in Los Angeles. As a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, she recently took her misaq (an oath marking the symbolic pas

posted 10:08:13am Nov. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Muslims en masse for Modi at Madison Square
Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a huge crowd of Indian expats in New York City on Monday night, outlining his vision of India's future and mak

posted 4:29:29pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.