Thursday, August 25, 2011

Satirical Palestinian TV show ordered off air

19 August 2011: Watan ala Watar, (or "country hanging by a thread") has been broadcast on Palestine TV every night since Ramadan began on 11 August and only lasts ten minutes. However the sketch show has caused such commotion and upheaval that even political rivals are agreeing to its removal from air. According to reports in the Palestinian media, complaints about the show were made by the head of the Palestinian Medical Association, the chief of police and the head of the anti-corruption authority about the satirical programme's content.

The show has had such a following from the general public and provided Palestinians with a healthier and more liberated approach to sensitive issues. "We put issues under the spotlight, and when you make people laugh you reach them," says the show's star and scriptwriter, 33-year-old Imad Farajin. "We touch traditionally taboo issues." Ahmad Mughani, the attorney general's take was slightly different... he said the programme's language was offensive and the show did not "serve the public interest" and was "harmful to Palestinian society". It had crossed "red lines", he said.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the chairman of Palestine TV, which broadcasts the show agreed to stop the series, but has called for the public to take an interest in this matter.

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