Sunday, August 12, 2012

Special Ramadan Programming 2012 - MBC1

This is a quick summary of  some of the special TV programs produced for Ramadan this year on MBC1 Channel.

Adel Iman in Fareq Naji Atallah

9 pm  (Oman Timings) -  فرقة ناجي عطاالله - Gang Naji Atallah 

Gang Naji Atallah is a nightly series that stars the famous Egyptian actor Adel Imam.
Premise: Adel Iman plays an diplomat working in the Egyptian Embassy in Israel. He is sacked and his assets frozen. So, he forms a 'gang' to rob an Israeli bank of 200 million dollars. They pull off the heist, and now he and his gang are in the middle of escaping back to Egypt through Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The series is a comedy putting the characters in ironic and surreal situations, but sentiments of the struggles of the Palestinians and conflicts in Sinai, Egypt and elsewhere are weaved throughout the script. Comedy/Drama.

11 pm - Omar

This is a historical reenactment of the story of Omr Khattab who was appointed Caliph in 634 of the Islamic Empire. He was know for fairness and justice. The series takes us through his life; the rise of Islam in Mecca and later its expansion. The series is well-made and was filmed mostly in Morocco. There was some controversy just before the program's release concerning how religious figures were going to be portrayed.

12 am - Khawaja (Egyptian word for foreigner) Abdul Qadir 

This is a story about a British man who first moves to Sudan and then to Egypt in the 1940's. When he arrives in the Sudan, Khawaja is a heavy drinker but soon reverts to Islam with the guidance of his Sudanese friend and finds new peace in life. While in Egypt, he meets the wali's 'mayors' family and falls in love with the wali's sister Zainab. The story focuses on the relationships between the people in the Egyptian town and their trials and tribulations in life. Drama/Romance

1 am - Tariq wa Hayoona

The lively entertainers from Kuwait host a game show where callers can win various prizes and money. The shows format is a bit different this year. Whereas, previously callers searched for items in rooms; this year Tariq and Hayoona compete against each other in various tasks such as hanging laundry, making candy apples, screwing in light bulbs and more. The caller associated with the winner of the task (either Tariq or Hayoona) gets additional prize money. Callers are from all over the Arab world and each caller is serenaded with traditional music from their country. Average prizes are 500 - 2000 Saudi Rials. 

2 am - Haroof Waoloof  'Letters Thousands'

Another game show where callers receive trivia questions where the answer starts with a certain letter in the Arabic alphabet. The announcer is famous for waiving his Saudi sword around. In this year's promos, he is dressed up as Zorro and uses his sword to carve an Arabic 'ح' or 'h sound for 'haroof' instead of Zorro's 'z'. Almost every show a car or two is given away.

Tash ma Tash - This was a Ramadan series that ran for 18 seasons, but was not shown this year. It is a comedy.drama that deals with social issues in Saudi. The actor Nasser from 'Tash' is also a judge on 'Arabs Got Talent'. Below is a translated episode from Arabic into English from last year dealing with the religious police the muttawah.

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