Syrian Soap Opera Captivates Arab World

[AP/Washington Post] Dalia Nammari - A Syrian soap opera has become the latest rage in the Arab world during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "The Neighborhood Gate" follows families in a Damascus neighborhood between the world wars, when the French ruled Syria and the local population chafed under foreign control. The neighborhood's brawny men sport manly mustaches. Syrian beauties with curly hair and pouting lips are cunning, but invariably submit to the will of their husbands and fathers. Couples fight and mothers-in-law scheme, while a stooge for the ruling regime, disguised as a blind man, spies on everyone else. Imad Qadi, a preacher in the West Bank town of Ramallah, said more worshippers this year were hurrying home to watch the show instead of performing a lengthy evening prayer for Ramadan. Last Friday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave a televised speech in support of the Palestinians. But the speech was broadcast at the same time as "The Neighborhood Gate." For many Palestinians, the choice was easy.

2007-10-12 01:00:00

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