Syrian TV Drama Presses ahead with Landslide Success

Despite the unfair sanctions imposed by the Arab League, Syrian public and private drama companies went ahead with a number of successful television projects during the past season. About twenty seven Syrian TV drama series were screened during the holy month of Ramadan proving the great progress realized by Syrian TV drama production.  Syria’s national television and radio producer, the International Syria Company, and a number of private companies remain upbeat about their production schedule defying the unfair sanctions which target the Syrian people’s various aspects of life including their art and civilization.

Comedy series had the lion’s share among this year’s production including new parts of series that has been shown over the past few years. These include : Zeit Kaz(Oil Kerosene), written by Zuheir Kanouh and based on Ayman Rida’s story; Sukkar Maleh (Salty Sugar) starring Amal Arafa and al-Muthanna Subeh.

 Spotlight, which is satirical sketches that deal with many sensitive topics, related to the country's politics, economy and social life continued to be screened for the ninth year. Issues like administrative and economic corruption, religious radicalism, and gender problems were discussed in an attractive comic style. 

In an episode named (One hand) the protagonist seeks to convince others to act all together and stay united reminding the audience of the importance of national unity among all categories of society to confront various challenges.

Other successful TV series included Abu Janti, “Girls” and “The Days of Study” which attracted huge audience all over the Arab world due to the daring approach pursued by directors.

Syrian director Fadi Ghazi presented a very successful TV drama comedy that is considered a development of his previous comic series. Starring Ayman Reda and other famous Syrian drama actors, the series deals with the story of a father and his four daughters, highlighting comic aspects in the Damascene people’s life.

Syrian actress Amal Arafeh achieved great success in Rafet Ein(  Eye Blink ) in which she distanced herself from  ready-made moulds .

The script, which was written by Arafeh herself, was produced in the black comedy style.
Imitating a previous series she acted more than ten years ago, namely “Dunia”, Arafeh focuses on the story of “Hadia” the heroine of the series who moves among various worlds including prison, thievery, dancing and house-serving to deal with several social topics of great concern to Arab citizens.






-         Every day of your life is a page of your history.

-         A horse of good breed is not dishonored by his saddle.

-         A mouth that praises and a hand that kills.

-         A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.

-         A house divided cannot stand.

-         Arrogance diminishes wisdom.

-         A secret is like a dove; when it leaves my hand it takes wing.

-         Ask the experienced rather the learned.

-         Eat whatever you like, but dress as others do.

-         What makes man to succeed is daring in thinking, in execution and in accepting failure.

-         It is easy to find who can talk with him, but it is difficult to find who could trust him.

-         There are five ways to make a man happy, first to find a girl who makes him laugh, second to find a girl who accept to be his partner in everything, third to find a girl who loves him sincerely, fourth to find a girl who accords him much attention.  But on one condition that neither of them knows the other.

Compiled by Raghda al-Sawas

Mu’taz Ali’s “Breaking News”

The Palestinian right of return to their indigenous homeland land has been one of the salient features of artist Mu’taz Ali’s cartoons in his recent exhibition held under the title of  “Breaking News”.

Ali has been able to reflect the aspirations of his people in liberating their lands and returning to it.

The tent and the key are two most prominent symbols through which he addressed two major themes. The tent summarizes the tragedy of the Palestinian people which resulted from their expulsion from their indigenous homeland where they were distributed to refugee camps living in tents and feeling nostalgia to return to their villages and cities.

As for the key, it symbolizes for the determination of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland despite the Israeli hectic attempts to wipe out this right which has been guaranteed by UN resolution No. 194 and other UN resolutions pertaining to the Arab Israeli conflict. The Palestinian girl, Fatema in Ali’s cartoons, wears Palestinian embroidered dress which symbolizes for the adherence to the Palestinian identity, culture and heritage in the face of the recurrent Israeli attempts to wipe out this identity and obliterate the genuine characteristics of the Palestinian culture and heritage.   The cartoonist deals with the resistance in its pan-Arab dimension, especially the unity of the Syrian and Palestinian people in resisting the Zionist entity. He also portrayed the huge marches of the Palestinian people who headed to the occupied Golan and broke the barbed wires on Nakba Day to express their determination not to sell out their repatriation right.

One cartoon deals with the struggle of our people in the Gaza Strip and their brave confrontation of the tight siege imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities with the aim of halting the unabated struggle of the Palestinians.

Fatema cleans the dust from the key and hangs it on her chest waiting for the breaking news which might carry hope and optimism in liberating the homeland.

Ali makes us remember the most prominent symbols of Palestinian cultural life, especially Ghaasn Kanafani, Mahmoud Darwish and Naji al-Ali through his mouthpiece Hanzallah, a thin, miserable-looking man representing the Palestinian as the defiant victim of Israeli oppression and other hostile forces, and a fat man representing the reactionary Arab regimes and Palestinian political leaders who led an easy life and engaged in political compromises which the artist fervently opposed.

The Palestinian olive, the nuts of Nablus and the thyme of Hebron can be seen in the cartoons.

The artist did not forget to touch on the current developments, especially the conspiracy against Syria which aims to undermine its resistant role and serve Israeli interests. One cartoon portrays the media fabrications against Syria through a propaganda implemented by four instigative channels: al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, al-Hurra and France 24 which transmit in Hebrew in reference to their implementation of a foreign agenda that serves Israeli interests.