RAMALLAH, West Bank - Every evening for the past four months, a tall young man with soulful blue eyes has been stealing hearts across the Middle East, from the refugee camps of the Gaza Strip to the gated mansions of Riyadh.
But it's not just the striking good looks of Mohannad, hero of the hugely popular Turkish TV soap "Noor," that appeal to female viewers. He's romantic, attentive to his wife, Noor, supportive of her independence and ambitions as a fashion designer — in short, a rare gem for women in conservative, male-dominated surroundings.
"Noor" delivers an idealized portrayal of modern married life as equal partnership — clashing with the norms of traditional Middle Eastern societies where elders often have the final word on whom a woman should marry and many are still confined to the role of wife and mother.
Some Muslim preachers in the West Bank and Saudi Arabia have taken notice, saying the show is un-Islamic and urging the faithful to change channels. But all the same, the show may be planting seeds of change.
Yahoo Entertainment News (July 27)