Israel has taken center stage in Ramadan TV programming. Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90
Middle East

Israel in Ramadan TV Shows

The Jewish state as taken center stage, in a surprising way, in Arab holiday shows


Muslims around the world recently began celebrating the month-long holiday of Ramadan. This holy month is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam, in which adult Muslims are accustomed to fasting from sunrise to sunset. This year is especially unique as widespread debate has ensued over whether fasting is appropriate amid the Corona crisis.

A cultural tradition that has developed over time, particularly in the Arab Muslim world, is that families watch television shows that were produced specifically for the month of Ramadan. After breaking the daily fast, families gather to watch the highly-anticipated dramas. The content is typically family-oriented, and each episode is aired once during the holy month.

The Ramadan television shows serve as a hallmark of the holiest month of the year. It is a phenomenon that is emblematic of the principles underlying the observance of Ramadan—sanctity, community, reflection and joy.


Arab entertainment politicized

In recent years, however, the Ramadan television shows have been sucked into the region’s political milieu. For...