Ramadan teleseries: To watch or not to watch

Updated 12 August 2013
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Ramadan teleseries: To watch or not to watch

Ramadan television series have always divided Saudi society, with some saying the shows distract them from worshiping while others saying they are the only entertainment they get during the month.
“I don’t see the reason behind airing so many TV series during the holy month of Ramadan. Isn’t Ramadan supposed to be a time when people get closer to Allah and clean their souls from all sins?” wondered school teacher Hanan Fahmi.
“I was raised by a religious family who taught me that Ramadan is supposed to be spent reading the Holy Qur’an and praying the whole time; there is no time for entertainment shows because we have to be focused on our main goal that is of maximum worship,” she added.
Technology is getting in the way of quality family time. “We are all distracted due to our smart phones, laptops and iPads. Ramadan is ideally when we get closer to each other and spend more time together,” said Hessa Al-Qahtani, a stay-at-home mother. “It breaks my heart to see all my children busy with their iPhones and iPads and the only thing that makes them come together and put their phones down is an interesting TV series. If this is the only way where we can have family time then so be it, I will sit with them and spend as much time as it takes to hang out with my children,” she added.
Teenagers find Ramadan series the best tele soaps aired in the entire year. “They always find the finest content for the high season, which is Ramadan in our case. This is why sometimes you are forced to watch them all and we end up sitting in front of the TV the whole day,” said Joury Abdulmajeed, college student. “My mother keeps telling me I have to stop this habit but it’s my vacation and I need to have some fun. During my school days I don’t generally watch TV and I’m focused on my studies,” she added.
Saudi youth are more driven to TV shows that spread awareness about good deeds. “I have been watching Khawater by Ahmed Shugairi for years now and I have to admit that the show has improved the way I look at things and it has improved my personality,” said Eman Jamid, college student. “This year there are other great TV shows that target youth. It is important for everyone to watch them to be able to benefit from the tips provided in the show,” she added.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said earlier in an interview with Arab News that TV viewership increases in the holy month of Ramadan and that is why networks tend to advertise their special programs in advance. “As a subscription driven service, we recognize the power of that platform and so strive for providing good content on OSN and other networks,” he said. “One of the great strengths of this platform is that we facilitate consumers to record hundreds of hours of their favorite shows and watch them when they want. So no longer is the consumer driven by what the television channel tells them, that they have to watch the program,” he added.


French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

Video shows priest slapping crying baby.
Updated 23 June 2018
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French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

  • The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip
  • The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water

PARIS: A French Catholic priest was suspended Friday after a video of him smacking a crying baby during a baptism ceremony went viral, drawing widespread condemnation on social media.
In footage posted on Twitter on Thursday, gasps can be heard when the 89-year-old priest, after ordering the infant he is holding to “be quiet,” sharply slaps his cheek.
A few seconds later he smacks him again.
The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip during the ceremony in Champeaux, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Paris.
“This loss of self-control can be attributed to the fatigue of an elderly priest, but that doesn’t excuse it,” the diocese of Meaux, which includes the town, said in a statement.
It said the priest would no longer be leading baptisms and weddings nor holding mass until further notice.
“The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water. I was saying ‘be quiet’ but he wouldn’t calm down,” the priest told France Info radio on Friday.
“It was something between a caress and a little slap,” he said. “I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.”