AMERICAN IN ARABIA'S Take on Arab Idol - Yemen Style!
Arab Idol is done and dusted and the very first winner took it all. Now, Brett recreates it as Dictator Idol, where Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh's presidential performance is put under scrutiny, although his singing is probably very fun as well. Here is a dialogue of what such a competition would look like.
Ryan Seacrest: Welcome back to the show! Our most recent contestant Ali has performed and now we await the judges’ feedback. Our first judge is Fatima, a mother of four from the village of Rada. Your thoughts Fatima?
Fatima: Thank you Ryan. I suppose I would sum up Mr. Salah’s performance as very weak, too long and he appeared distracted throughout the whole thing. Let’s go back to Jan 15th of this year. Al Qaeda forced my whole family out of our town because we would not conform to their version of Shari'a. Since that time I have been struggling to provide even clean water for my children and my husband cannot find work.
But it seems that during this time you Mr. Salah were in America getting plastic surgery! We had to deal with the al Qaeda chaos ourselves. They are here because of this power vacuum left by your failure as a leader! I hope the trips to McDonald’s and seeing the Statue of Liberty were worth it! Oh, I’m sorry. I got worked up there. So, my vote is definitely a no for you as an Arab Idol.
Ryan Seacrest: Okay, thanks for that honesty and we are sorry about your youngest child who died from dysentery. Our next judge is our foreign representative. Leslie is the wife of John, and they are Americans who work with the disabled here in Yemen. Leslie?
Leslie: I need to correct you Mr. Seacrest. We no longer live in the village because members of Al Qaeda shot my husband dead on March 18th. We knew things were quickly getting out of control in the region but we didn’t want to leave the children we were helping. As for Mr. Saleh, I researched what you were doing on that day. Instead of working hard to bring order to this country, you were making a big fuss over someone calling you old and you then threatened to disturb the government meetings. Really sir? That’s how you will lead us? By whining? I vote 'no' and may God have mercy on your tired old soul.
Ryan Seacrest: Well, things are not looking good for you, Ali. Maybe this last judge will give you some points for the viewers at home to take into consideration. Waseem, you are a consultant with the UN and a Yemeni . What are your observations? Or should I say calculations?
Waseem: Ha! Yes, Ryan, I am a numbers guy. And I have been keeping score of things here since Mr. Salah has presided as President, been kicked out and come back as a presidential disturber. And I have to be honest. The numbers don’t look so good. Almost 40 % of our people are in such bad shape physically or economically, they need humanitarian support immediately. That’s almost 10 million Yemenis!
We’ve got nearly a million children who are malnourished, half of which are at a high risk of death due to the lack of clean water and the 20-fold rise in disease within the villages. So basically, if I were his teacher, he would get an F as an Arab Idol.
Ryan Seacrest: Well, those were some harsh rebukes by all three judges. But the decision is up to you, our Arab viewers. Is Ali Abdullah Salah your choice as a figure of honor and integrity as a leader? How was his performance as President? The lines are opening up. If you don’t have a vote for him, whom will you pick as your true Arab idol? Submit your answers below and this is Ryan Seacrest saying good night, Arabia. Seacrest Out!
By Brett Weer