ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Soap Operas in the Arab World Yield Their Own Soft Power [] – [The cultural power of stories] Turkish TV has given the soap a fresh twist by making the connivers, kidnappers and canoodlers Muslims. And it is Arab audiences, even more than Turks, who have been swept off their feet. Through the small screen, Turkey has begun to exercise a big influence at Arab dinner tables, in boardrooms and bedrooms from Morocco to Iraq of a sort that the United States can only dream about. Another consequence of the show: the sudden, spectacular boom in Arab tourism to Turkey. Millions of Arabs now flock here. Turkish Airlines has started direct flights to gulf countries (using soap stars as spokespeople). Turkish travel companies charter boats to ferry Arabs who want a glimpse of the waterfront villa where “Noor” was filmed. If this seems like a triumph of Western values by proxy, the Muslim context remains the crucial bridge. “Ultimately, it’s all about local culture. People respond to what’s familiar.” By which he meant that regionalism, not globalism, sells.


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