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Reality TV Again At the Front Of Showcasing Cultural Diversity

Reality TV again leads the way in showcasing cultural diversity and undoing media stereotypes when ‘All American Muslim’ starts to air in the USA.

The show lifts the veil on five Arab American families in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

Reality TV has constantly forged the way in portraying different demographics on screens, particularly in regards to ethnicity and sexuality.

In fact dramas and soapies followed the trend when they realised television audiences not only accepted it but embraced it.

The question also must arise on why these shows are now called reality and not documentaries. This is because the tricks used in reality TV like dramatic plot lines are used to draw the viewer in. However also why not use the term as a marketing tool, people know and enjoy reality TV as they know they will be entertaining, whereas the documentary indicates more meaty subject matter.

The show hopefully should go some way in breaking about some misconceptions about arabs, with the Daily Telegraph reporting sixty-eight percent said they seldom or never interacted with Muslims, and 47 percent thought Islamic values don’t jibe with American ones.

On the other hand, a concurrent Pew Research Center poll revealed that 48 percent of Muslim Americans think other Americans are generally friendly to them. Muslims were also more satisfied with the way the United States is going.

The Daily Telegraph describes the show here:

There’s the Amen family, whose outspoken tattooed daughter Shadia is engaged to an Irish American from Chicago who accepts her family’s request to convert to Islam on the eve of their wedding – and upsets his Catholic mother.

Newlywed twenty-somethings Nader and Nawal Aoude embrace teamwork like a new-age couple as they prepare for the birth of their first child, even as they adhere to a devout Islamic lifestyle.

and finds their lives are, in many ways, not so un-American at all.

There’s the Amen family, whose outspoken tattooed daughter Shadia is engaged to an Irish American from Chicago who accepts her family’s request to convert to Islam on the eve of their wedding – and upsets his Catholic mother.

Nina Bazzy is a glamorous blond party planner on a collision course with both her traditional-minded parents and the wider community over her bold plan to open her own trendy nightclub.

Mike Jaafar upholds the law as Dearborn’s deputy chief sheriff, while his wife Angela tries to keep their four high-strung children in line in one of those big suburban houses that signifies the American dream.

And the patriarch of the Zaban family, Fouad “Haj Walker” Zaban, is as passionate about his religious obligations as he is about leading the high school football team he coaches to the Michigan state championship.

“It seemed like a really, really good opportunity to dispel some of these misconceptions that we’ve been dealing with all our lives,” Shadia Amen told AFP on Thursday, explaining why she agreed to do the show.

“We’re not here to represent Islam. We’re just five American families who happen to be Muslim.”

Newlywed twenty-somethings Nader and Nawal Aoude embrace teamwork like a new-age couple as they prepare for the birth of their first child, even as they adhere to a devout Islamic lifestyle.

At this stage there is no screening date in Australia for the show.

4 comments

1 tallulah { 11.13.11 at 3:17 pm }

Why isn’t this called All American Arabs rather than Muslims? These are Arabs, but not all Muslims are Arabs. Muslims have different cultures depending on where they are from & not all are devout. This is the same as other religions.

2 Chunks { 11.13.11 at 5:13 pm }

Because they’re not victims…

3 Culinary Boner { 11.14.11 at 10:51 am }

Too serious and worthy to be of any real interest unless it’s put together as a proper documentary by someone with film-making and journalism skills. Many of these so-called observational reality shows are just badly conceived and lazily produced documentaries dressed up as something special.

I’d prefer to watch something titled “Celebrity Jihad”.

4 Chunks { 11.14.11 at 2:44 pm }

Now ‘Celebrity Jihad’ I could go for, with Waleed Ali hosting.