Ramadan TV

The excellent Culture et Politique Arabes site has a detailed analysis of the commercial underpinnings of Ramadan entertainment (Al Quds Al Arabi estimates that the Holy months brings in $100 million in TV advertising revenues). The post points out that the Egyptians got the jump on other Arab countries this year--in an increasingly competitive TV market--by starting to air their Ramadan soap operas a night before everyone else. The post also mentions the lack of Ramadan spirit in the new Egyptian TV channel El Qahera wa En-Nas (Cairo Centric in English) whose yellow posters all across Cairo have been promising "Ramadan's most daring TV." The campaign has clearly already raised some hackles, as this article in Islam Online describes what they consider to be a controversial exchange on one of the stations' talk shows, in which the director Ines El Daghidi, to the question "When do you think you might take the veil?" replied يا رب ماتكتها علي'' ("Oh God, don't decree this for me"--I think). What's extraordinary is that  apparently this "daring" station is considering editing the exchange out of the broadcast.

Also read Amira Howeidy's piece on Ramadan television in Al-Ahram Weekly, Made to Measure.
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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.