Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reel Arabs are not Real Arabs!

Recently, we have been discussing the mis-representation of Arabs, Muslims, and Middle-Easterners (in general) in media and popular culture. In his book, "Reel Bad Arabs", Dr. Jack Shaheen discovered that out of 1000 films that have Arab & Muslim characters (from the year 1896 to 2000), 12 were positive depictions, 52 were even handed and the rest of the 900 and so were negative . This has major repercussions on how Western society views these people and how they, ultimately, view themselves. Click the YouTube clip above to watch an extended trailer for the film.

Little Mosque on the Prairie" is the story of the Muslim population in the fictional town of Mercy, Saskatchewan. The show derives much of its humour from the interactions of the Muslims with the non-Muslim townspeople of Mercy and by the contrast of conservative Islamic views (held primarily by the characters of Baber and Fatima) with more liberal interpretations of Islam (as represented by Amaar and Rayyan). The show uses humour to highlight common stereotypes and, insodoing, works towards breaking down misrepresentations and showcasing Muslims in a more realistic light.


Now that you have been exposed to the misrepresentation in the media (the "Reel" Arab and Muslims) and a step in the right direction in showing "Real" Arabs and Muslims, I want you to continue the trend.....

It's your turn to play media producer! What form(s) of media would you use, and what product or service would you create and promote, to encourage people to go out and discover the "Real" truth about Arabs and Muslims? Why would you choose this particular media and who would your specific audience be? How would you be able to determine if your product is effective (i.e. what type of feedback would you receive and how would you receive it?) Explain why your chosen media product would be effective in persuading your audience.

Your explanation MUST be very specific - provide the finer details of your product, its creation, and its content (the message).


Respond to AT LEAST TWO (2) other posts from your peers (other members of the class). You must refer to the specific student and post you are commenting on in your response, and you must assess the effectiveness of their campaign academically and constructively using all of the information you have learned during this unit!


(Curriculum Expectation: select an appropriate form for a media text they plan to create, and explain why they made that choice - Media Production / Form 1.2)

Planet of the Arabs...