Listening to Allah Versus 18 Million SMS Messages

(Ha'aretz) Zvi Bar'el - Last December the Lebanese satellite television station LBC premiered "Star Academy," with contestants from around the Arab world. Prerequisites were: attractive physical appearance, knowledge of three songs by heart, and modern dress. Some 5,000 young people from Jordan alone applied to take part. The ratings for the Lebanese program were higher than any previously broadcast show. During the five months of the contest, about 18 million SMS messages were sent from Egypt, 17 million from Syria, 11 million from Saudi Arabia, and 8 million from Jordan. The show reignited the acrid debate between East and West, between religion and the modern world, between local nationalism and Arab nationalism.

2004-05-14 00:00:00

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