The role of women and social class in Pakistan’s “Humsafar”

No less than seven people told me that I had to watch the television show Humsafar. My Pakistani-American cousins and friends, who have so overlooked the cultural exports of their motherland in the past, seem to have attached themselves to this particular drama. Indeed, it has taken the Urdu-speaking world by storm. Not only are Pakistanis obsessed with it, but also with the help of YouTube, it has gained tremendous popularity in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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TLC’s new eight-part series, “All-American Muslim,” is set to air this Sunday and follows the daily lives of five American Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, the country’s largest Arab-American enclave. I spoke with Shadia Amen and Jeff McDermott, whose road to marriage is featured on the show. Shadia is an Arab-American Muslim and her family would like for Jeff to convert from Catholicism to Islam in order for the union to be valid in their faith.

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A new “View” of Arab women

“Kalam Nawaem,” a sixty-minute Middle Eastern talk show based on the American TV show “The View,” has capitalized on the popularity of satellite television to reach the nearly half of women in the Arab world who are illiterate, offering viewers, particularly women, an opportunity to listen to sharp discussions on salient issues.

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