Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tomorrow marks the day we commence our journey to begin a special Ramadan program across different provinces in Turkey with the country’s largest NGO, Insani Yardim Vakfi.


Tomorrow marks …


Omar: Facts About the Largest Arabic Drama Production in History

Amidst a frenzy of justification-promos (a lengthy montage of Hollywood epics ranging from Man in the Iron Mask to Kingdom of Heaven explaining how the West has spoken for us enough, we should take matters into our own hands) explaining why they decided to embark on this colossal epic bio-pic series, MBC released a infographic fact sheet with interesting stats about the production of this controversial work.

These ‘educational’ pieces of information (promos, infographics) present a very interesting case study on how the government-backed Saudi-owned Dubai-based media powerhouse conglomerate is tackling the storm of boycotts and attacks on its decision to depict the equally controversial historical figure Omar Ibn Al Khattab, the second caliph and companion of the Prophet Muhammad. These are uncharted waters. Will MBC weather the storm and win the narrative-setting battle of Omar’s place in the publics’ imagination? Or will this be the beginning of their demise as the blasphemous TV network that went too far?

I leave you with a translation of the fact sheet:

The Largest Arabic Drama Production in History

1970 swords
650 spears
1500 horses
3800 camels
4000 arrows
400 bows
170 sheilds
15 drums
14200 meters of fabric
137 statues
39 costume designers & tailors
1600 pieces of pottery
10000 silver coins
7550 slippers

322 actors and actresses
10,000 extras in the battlefield

299 technicians from 10 countries

The Old City of Makkah and its areas were reconstructed across 12,000 sq meters
29 in-studio sets
89 outdoor shooting locations

322 days of filming & post-production
= 463.680 minutes
= 72.820.800 seconds