In Ramadan, Arabic drama productions peak, for the month usually brings with it many premiers. This year, April 24 was announced as the first day of fasting, while it also triggered a number of screen-related controversies. Tow productions particularly were upsetting, causing indignation among the Palestinian audience and supporters of the Palestinian cause.
Presented on MBC, the first— “Um Haroun/Haroun’s Mother”— narrates the story of a Jewish midwife that shifted places of residence, moving between different Arab countries, before she finally settled in Kuwait, choosing to continue providing her services there. Many viewers consider the series unnecessary, being a blatant call for normalization with Israeli occupation and given the suffering Palestine is enduring.
The second, “Makhraj 7/Exit 7”, also streamed on MBC, explores one of the character’s desire to create ties with the Israeli occupation. Viewers again were outraged, observing the series as an attempt at defaming the Palestinian cause.
On April 28, the Beirut-based General Secretariat of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad/PCPA issued a statement condemning these attitudes and efforts, which at heart are marketing for normalization, saying:
Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad condemns the use of Arab TV drama productions for promoting a normalization with the Zionist enemy, and also for the cheap abuse directed at the Palestinian People and its national cause, indicating that these productions constitute a disdainful exploitation of the featured season accompanying the Holy month of Ramadan and the uncouth manipulation of drama productions.
With indignation, the Popular Conference continues to observe this season’s drama productions, which are screened by Arab channels, for some are charged with misleading and guided messages that lie in the interest of the rapid-paced normalization with the enemy on the one hand, and hold an abuse for the cause of Palestine, as well as catalyze grudges among closely-tied peoples on the other.
The themes and the content promoted by some drama productions this season were shocking, as they provoked the public, violated the values of the nation and the sentiments of its people, in a manner that cannot be addressed with ease.
The Popular Conference, thus, demands that both production companies and sponsors of these dramas cease this contemptible exploitation and that they abide by their obliging principles concerning this subject matter, as well as that they mend the violations they committed.
Popular Conference, furthermore, urges the community concerned with these productions to speak up, challenging this use, which is abusive and enraging for the viewers, one that serves no one but the Zionist enemy, its deceptive propaganda and malicious aims, seeking to reconstitute the peoples’ consciousness and mislead the Arab audiences.
Moreover, the Popular Conference salutes all those who took an honorable stand, including the nation’s unrelenting forces that expressed a protest, shouting back and calling for combating all forms and domains of normalization.
The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad accentuates that using drama productions in this offensive manner rests in the context of the political employment of the so called “Deal of the Century” and preparing the communal Arab mindset to embrace the Zionist entity as one of the region’s states.
The Popular Conference prompts the Arab audiences to meet their responsibilities as partners in the defense of the Palestinian cause, calling them to face all the campaigns pushing for normalization with the Zionist enemy. The Conference is also trustful of the nation’s awareness and it unrelenting forces which are keen on advocating its fair cause.
General Secretariat – Beirut
April 28, 2020