Friday, September 10, 2004

Television in Iraq

You won't find this story on 60 Minutes:

Since its launch in June, al-Sharqiya, the upstart Iraqi channel that produces "Labor and Materials," has been introducing reality TV to a nation that was used to anything but during Saddam Hussein's three decades in power.

The new programming, which also includes soap operas, "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, sports analysis, music videos and original sitcoms, has captivated a populace desperate to escape the endless reminders of car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations on the all-news Arab networks.

An upcoming drama series on al-Sharqiya called "The Looters" will feature families who grew rich off the spoils of ransacking after the U.S.-led war last year. Another show, called "Iraq's Most Melancholy Home Videos," will capture the reactions of Iraqis watching footage of former neighbors now living abroad. "Blessed Wedding" will follow a young couple as they get married, go on their honeymoon and adjust to domestic life together.

"The Iraqis were not used to these kinds of programs," said Alaa Dahan, 37, the director of al-Sharqiya, the country's first privately owned satellite TV station. "But we have to depend on the reality, to focus on the reality, particularly what happened after the war, both the positive and negative sides."


Wild Bill said...

They could start a show called The Great WMD Hunt! The first contestant to find a stock pile of WMDs gets 72 virgins. That might be a big hit.

STCA said...

HAHAHA! Great idea! But that's something the military should be hosting!

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