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Showing posts from June, 2016

Arab reality show tests humanity and empathy

It’s Ramadan and the Arabic TV channels are festooned with shows that vary from recurring popular soap operas, cooking and competition shows — but one has become the talk of the town.

Al Sadma, or The Shock, the Arabic version of the popular American show What Would You Do, is a reality TV prank show. But it’s not like many other tasteless reality shows that invoke fright and even terror, it is a show that invokes morality and examines humanity.

The prank show uses hidden cameras to capture the reactions of the public to staged scenarios that are intentionally disturbing. The scenarios are filmed in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It airs around Iftar time in the region, when Muslims break their sunrise-to-sunset fasting.

Some of the show’s scenarios include a man humiliating his wife at a restaurant, a woman scolding her child while helping with his homework, a lost girl trying to find her mother while a man tries to kidnap her, a man following and h…