‘Gharabeb Soud’ the reality of life with Daesh



Mon, 29 May 2017 - 07:13 GMT


Mon, 29 May 2017 - 07:13 GMT

Gharabeeb Soud. Source: YouTube screenshot

Gharabeeb Soud. Source: YouTube screenshot

CAIRO - 29 May 2017: ‘Gharabeb Soud’ is a new Ramadan drama series that focuses on life under Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and explores the reason that so many people of different backgrounds have joined the terrorist group. Depicted as one of O3 biggest production, allegedly costing more than $10 million and the MBC group has placed a lot on what is being labelled ‘the big Ramadan gamble’ in the annual drama series race.

The name of the series itself is a puzzle in itself with various interpretations being offered, most of the international media have adopted the meaning of ‘Black Crows’ but the title actually comes from a Quranic verse, which means pitch-black.

Whatever the precise meaning of the series is, it spells one thing; a lurking danger that can be found amongst the closest of people to you.

The drama starts with darkened and blurred images and brief information written about people who have vanished without a trace ranging from young adolescent to professional women and educated and wealthy men. Directed by the Egyptian Adel Adeeb and Syrian Hassan Qassem Al-Rantesi, ‘Gharabeb Soud’ promises to reflect the reality of the current situation in the region. It is an Arab production with a mix of famous actors and actresses from across the Arab region, IS group after all is a mixture of Arabs that have invaded several parts of Arab countries.

The aspect that distinguishes the series from any other productions that have tackled IS is the fact that we see the series unfold through the tales of various women. A question that has fascinated many analysts and scholars ‘why do women join such a violent and repressive group’ and the answer is given through ‘Gharabeb Soud’ via the different humanising stories, because behind each member there is a story.

In the first episode we meet a young bride who was tricked by her husband into the IS group on what was supposed to be her honeymoon, while two women from the Gulf region who were also in the truck that is heading to an IS group territory, are in fact joining the group to find husbands, giving the series a much needed comical aspect. Other women, include an Egyptian belly dancer, a journalist and two young mothers one of whom was living in a refugee camp, we have yet to learn of their past.

There is also the disturbing ‘paradise boys brigade’ which shows young boys debating how fast they would get to paradise with one suggesting by a car while another claims by boat and a third telling them by airplane of course all very innocently which is why are taken back when they are told by their leader that they will go by a ‘belt.’

The series is quite gripping for the average audience, but not sure whether people who have endured the actual rule and brutality of IS would be tuning in.

‘Gharabeb Soud’ is set be the talking point of many at various levels, with international newspapers and websites started writing about it before it was even aired. It was reported in the New York Times that Ali Jaber, the Group TV Director of MBC met up with some U.S. diplomats who told him that they like the idea of using television to challenge the jihadists’ message, basically giving the show the U.S. approval. Jaber was invited last March to discuss the show with Western and Middle Eastern diplomats at a summit meeting in Washington hosted by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.

The MBC group has scheduled the series at peak time putting it against some of the best of the Ramadan series’, placing a big gamble on the series being a huge success and there is even talk of dubbing it into English later on.



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