Nocturnal in Yemen: The T-5 shows that'll keep ya up all night
Yemeni TV shows address regional stereotypes, political controversy, corruption kidnapping and tribalism During the month of Ramadan, competition between Yemeni TV channels is fierce. Each of Yemen’s 12 TV channels produces a special series for the month of Ramadan, in the hopes that their viewers—most of whom live nearly-nocturnal lives during the holy month—will tune in and get hooked in their post-iftar daze.
Topics of the series vary widely—from historical drama, to romance to political intrigue. Read on to learn about five particularly popular ones.
1) Hami Hamk Hami Hamk — which can be translated into English as “Your Concern Is Mine” — ranked as the fifth most-watched series produced in the Gulf, according to the Arab Viewer Center for Studies. Currently, the series is entering its fifth season, produced by Saeeda TV. The series has 30 episodes. It addresses some societal issues and consolidates human principles and morals that inspire the viewer to be a better person, said Falah Al-Jabour, the director.
In a statement to Saeeda TV channel, he said Arab stars from Syria, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arbia have been participating in the series as actors. He said it is the first time foreign actors have taken part in the Hami Mamk series. The first part of the series touched on the transformation from civility to tribalism and the kidnapping issue. The second part highlighted three issues. Each issue took ten episodes. The first issue was about sheikhs in Tehama; second, youth and unemployment; and third, corruption and robbery. The third and fourth part of the series continued casting light on sheikhs in Tehama as well as politically projecting the situation of the Yemeni society.
2) Sah Anoom This year, the channel Yemen Shabab is airing a comedy called Sah Anoom. Hosted by well-known Yemeni comedian Mohammed Al-Ruba, this half-hour show is focused on political satire.
It lampoons the rivalries between political parties, elections, and public services such as electricity and roads. It always denotes that the former regime is the reason behind Yemen’s current situation. Al-Ruba satirizes different aspects of Yemeni society. Parts of the show were filmed in Egypt, Turkey and Malaysia, comparing and contraing tthese countries with Yemen.
The program was directed by Khalil Al-Omri and the staff is composed of 30 members. It’s broadcasted daily after 7:00 pm which is prime time for Yemenis in Ramadan.
Al-Omri told the Yemen Times that videoing the program in three countries is a quantum leap in the quality of Yemeni programs, adding that the spontaneous sarcastic style of the presenter is a vital factor for the success of the program.
Al-Omri added that the program addresses the concerns of people and determines Yemen’s status among other countries worldwide via comparing the life in Yemen to Turkey, Egypt and Malaysia.
3) Ayni Aynk Series Yemen Channel is airing 18 episodes of the series called Ayni Aynk this year. The series stars two characters both named Qasim, one of whom is a northerner and the other a southerner. The series highlights the regional differences—and commonalities—between north and south Yemen.
The series stars several prominent actors, is composed by screenwriter Mohammed Al-Hobishi and directed by Dr. Fadhl Al-Olfi.
Al-Olfi told the Yemen Times that the series discusses the necessity of coexistence and non-exclusion of any party, adding that “The series summarizes the political situation in Yemen and supports the ideas of the National Dialogue Conference.”
4) Cocktail Dot Boom 4 This series is a collection of episodes and each one highlight one negative habit per day and tries to resolve it via the story of a person and how he was able to get rid of such a habit.
The young actor Mohammed Al-Matari stars in this 30-episode series that is directed by Amr Jamal and produced by Al-Nabeel Production Company. The episodes are broadcasted at 8:00 pm for 30 minutes each day on the Al-Sahat Channel.
Khalid Al-Marwala, director of Al-Nabeel Production Company, told the Yemen Times that the fourth season of the series is different from the previous ones in terms of shooting the episodes and performance of actors.
“Prominent Yemeni actors participated in the fourth season and each day we presented a guest of honor,” he said
5) Camera fi Al-Reef This program is usually shot in rural areas of Yemen. It’s the third season and is broadcasted on Al-Saeeda Channel during Ramadan at 10:00 pm. Financial prizes are granted to participants.
Each episode is composed of four parts. The first part is called “An actor for the first time” where residents are requested to act a certain role and the best one gets a financial prize. The second is called “You ask” where a resident is allowed to ask other people and give them financial prizes. The third part is entitled “Concentrate” where the presenters provide interrelated words with the same pronunciation to be pronounced quickly and the owner gets a financial prize. The last part shows Yemeni customs and traditions.
The presenters of this program are Kamal Tammah and Khalid Al-Jabri. It was directed by Yasser Al-Daheri.