The Arab world’s most-watched TV network, MBC 1, will air a prime-time TV drama depicting life under ISIS.
The 30-part series will debut during Ramadan.
“Black Crows”, “paints a picture of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, as a brutal criminal organization run by corrupt and hypocritical leaders. But recruits are depicted as victims, and women who challenge the militants’ control are heroes,” reports the New York Times.
The stories of women dominate the series, the producers said, because they offered rich dramatic material. A majority of the channel’s viewers are women.
In another episode, Islamic State commanders indoctrinate children into their ranks.
Like the Islamic State’s recruits, the cast comes from across the Arab world, and the program’s plotlines reflect well-known headlines about the group’s atrocities.
Ramadan, which will begin around May 27, is a month on the Islamic calendar during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. It is also peak television season in the Arab world, where families gather after breaking their fast to binge-watch shows late into the night.
In television terms, “it’s like the Super Bowl for 30 days straight,” said Mazen Hayek, a spokesman for MBC.
Typical programming includes romances, comedies and historical dramas, some of which reflect current events. Though the new MBC production has the trappings of a drama, and some of the costumes and makeup can be cartoonish, the series, set behind the jihadists’ front lines, is not light viewing.
According to StepFeed:
The actresses of the show took on the role in hopes of depicting the reality of life under Daesh (an Arabic acronym formed from the initial letters of the group’s previous name in Arabic – “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa al-Sham”) in a way that is often underrepresented in the media.
One of the actresses said she took on the role to “show my hatred and my condemnation of this group, to express it in a concrete way,” Egyptian actress Samar Allam told the New York Times.
“It is important to wake people up and show them that Islam is not that,” said Saudi Marwa Mohamed, who plays the role of a woman who kills her husband for cheating on her and then joins Daesh with her two sons.
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