The “View” comes to the Arab World

August 10, 2007

“Dishing Democracy” is a documentary on the women of the Dubai-based Arab satellite network MBC show called “Kalam Nawaem” (Sweet Talk). The documentary aired on PBS in the U.S. on 31 July 2007. Using four women (Palestinian, Egyptian, Saudi, and Lebanese) who take up every imaginable subject, including such social taboos as homosexuality and masturbation and who display their varied views on those subjects, the show is a great favorite in the Middle East. The show also is an expression of the power of satellite television in the Muslim World. For more information about the documentary and about Sweet Talk itself, go to: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/cairo/filmmaker.html.

Links from that page can introduce you to the wide variety and the increasing influence of satellite television shows to the spread of democracy in a world mostly unfamiliar to Western countries. Democracy is something that cannot be imposed from without but must grow from within and it is much more than just a vote: it’s the desire for the recognition of individual worth in the governing of our lives. There is a hunger for it in the Muslim world. But according to this film maker, the emphasis there for women is more on the importance of community in their lives than on the importance of the individual. (EW, FC, SD) Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2007, Paul Brownfield, “Arab world has it’s own type of ‘View.’”

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