‘A Very Different Kind of Reality TV’

One of the things Anglo reporters seem stunned about, in the Million’s Poet coverage, is this “very different kind of reality TV.” (Where are the hidden cameras? The lawsuits? The tears and fights? Good thing said reporters haven’t heard about Amr Khaled’s Islamic reality TV show.)

Okay, the reporters seem to say, those Arabs have managed to get themselves some bright lights, and a stage. They’ve got the audience, check. But where’s the glam, the sex, the glitter, the sarcasm? What’s all this bloody good-heartedness and poetry?

Surely I’m too sensitive, but I find something slightly sneering about these (hand covering mouth, giggling) reports about the Middle Easterners who like…my God, poetry? Or maybe I just wish it could become a rare opportunity to reflect on ourselves: Why can’t we like poetry, too?

ABC’s Person of the Week, Hissa Hilal.

BBC’s roundup of the finals.