Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ramadan Television: Khawater (Thoughts/Reflections) with Ahmed Al-Shukairy

Tash Ma Tash isn't the only regularly watched Ramadan program. Ahmed Al Shukairy has been highly successful with Khawater, as this article, Inspire me: Ahmad El shukairy & khawater, the fabulous duet, attests. Khawater is a series of short episodes on culture, history, and "everyday ethics" (eg don't deface the sign on a 500 year old historical monument with your name as graffiti; maintain pride in your work), now in its 6th season.

The theme of this season, 6, is: Muslims 1000 years ago and today

Season 6 Opener Subtitled in English and French; Transcript

Filming for the season took place in 8 countries ( Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, UAE,Saudi Arabia, Britain), though sadly not Morocco where permission to film was denied. To ensure objectivity, Dr Adam Hart-Davis, a British expert in the history of the sciences and an accomplished teacher of science through mass media, serves as an on camera consultant.

The motif of "proficiency", that which made Muslims great in the past, is featured including in the logo; and, the motto for the season is: "The search for knowledge is an obligation" in order to focus on knowledge, which is the secret of success of Muslims 1000 years ago. The reference book for the series is 1001 Inventions, Muslim Heritage in Our World. The series goals are: to visual the thoughts that occur to us; and to educate the young, the next generation which represents the future.

2 much viewed and very interesting episodes follow:

Season 6, Episode 7, On Cleanliness and the History of Public Baths in Islam (Istanbul, Cairo, Toledo)

Season 6, Episode 8, on the application of Khawater to the real world; 
bringing a good idea gained from "Season 5: Japan-A Comparison of Japan and the Arab World" to Saudi youth.

Episode 8 above shows the applicationw in 2 public schools in Saudi Arabia, of the Japanese practice of having children clean their own classrooms. This pilot project was initiated by the Ministry of Education, Prince Faisal bin Abdullah,  with private company funding. Teaching children to clean their own classroom (and making it into a fun contest), teaches the values of cleanliness, work, and modesty.  One goal is to improve attitudes towards and treatment of cleaners and household help in the future, when these boys become adults. Their classroom cleaning extends to cleaning up at home--at least their own room (a benefit for when they become students overseas, and as future husbands).

This episode 8 is a must see! Toooo cuuuute! Adorable little boys, with their thobes, plastic gloves, face masks, and hopes of a Lexus as a prize for the cleanest classroom! They receive a visit from Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, who also mans a broom, and distributes medals to each student for their participation. There will be an expanded project for October 2010: 50 participating schools in Jeddah, and awards of 1,000,000 riyals total. Al Shukairy urges others to consult in order to expand the project across the Arab world.

Further reading and viewing
In English
MENA: Thanks “Khawater” from Japan
[Multiple links to others]
Using TV to Promote Responsibility
TV show that gets people thinking
The man behind ‘Khawater’ offers words of wisdom

In Arabic
Khawater 5 خـــواطر
خواطر – أحمد الشقيري

Khawater Episodes On Youtube
Subtitled in English (and other languages)
In Arabic
Video Translation Project:

Have you been following this program previously?
What do you think of the goals and execution in the episodes here?
Any other comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?


Susanne said...

Sounds interesting. I may try to look at some of the episodes when I have a bit more time. I want to see the cute children! :)

Anonymous said...

It's without doubt one of the best programs that I, and the family, wait in Ramadan for years now.

Although simple in its views and the way Mr. Al Shougari presenting it; it makes you rethink a lot of your daily practices.

I was really astonished this year by seeing how Malaysian and Singaporeans practice Islam, care about Mosques, public services, and, in short, taking their country forward.

Moreover, It was really pleasing seeing Muslim women taking their part in building their countries without much of a problem.

Hope we could all learn something and revisit our believes with a critical eye; this is the whole point of Khwater as I understand it!

Chiara said...

Susanne--thanks so much for your comment. I do hope you take a look, when you have some time, as the episodes are only about 12 minutes long. They are really worthwhile. Thanks again for your comment.

Saad--Welcome to my blog, and thank you for your excellent comment! I am pleased that you shared more of why this is an important television program, and accessible to the whole family. Forming young minds and challenging adults are excellent objectives which this program seems to fulfill admirably well. Thanks again for your comment and I hope you will comment on newer and older posts of interest to you.

Anonymous said...

Khawater is great.I think Mr.Ahmed sets a great modal to all others that want to do good in this world.It gives us lots of ideas in a very simple way. Thanks

the_helianthuss said...

My current favourite! Such a great tv program! An eye opener!
Regards, Malaysia :)


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