Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All-American Muslim: More Tattoos for Shadia & Bilal

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

You kinda knew that they'd have an episode dedicated to how the All-American Muslim dealt with the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but I would have guessed that we saw a family or two talk to their kids about it, and the adults having various reactions to memorials going on. Well, we see very little of any of the kids this episode, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, I feel like the show is just focusing on too many different people... this time we saw very little of the Zabans, Bazzy-Aliahmeads, Jaafars, and Aoudes, and none of the Fawaz couple. With one episode left to go, I'm not sure what the end result is going to be. There has not yet been any word as to whether we'll see more of this show in the future, but I hope we do. What are your thoughts?

All-American Muslim
"The Day the World Changed" (S01E07): While the tenth anniversary week of 9/11 is the big focus of this episode, we also hear a bit about divorce in the Muslim culture. So, we hear about the Detroit Tigers stadium needing extra police officers for security as well as how divorce is a big stigma in the culture. But not everyone looks at it in the same way - some see divorced women as damaged goods, but Bilal says that he'd marry someone who was divorced. [where was Shadia for this conversation? and I would have liked to hear from Lila as well...]

Aoude - [Nader & Nawal are newlyweds in their mid-twenties with a newborn son, Naseem. Nader is a federal agent and Nawal is a respiratory therapist.] Nawal's father visits, and we learn that Nader met him less than two years ago, so the couple really hasn't been together all that long. Nawal's parents divorced when she was young, but remained pretty civil toward one another. 9/11 happened when she was in tenth grade, and she was headed to lunch when her mother called and told her she was getting picked up from school. [I was a little bothered that her mother was one of the many who picked up their children that day, but of course I was more upset that Nawal had a cell phone on during the school day...] What was more interesting, however, was how her mother found out about 9/11... she was passing out flyers for her daycare business and someone spit at her and kicked her off the porch, and she saw a bit of their television that pointed out what had happened. 

Zaban - [Fouad and Zaynab have been married about 12 years and have four kids. Fouad is the football coach at the local high school, and Zaynab is a part-time secretary.] Fouad and Zaynab went to a Methodist church in downtown Detroit for a 9/11 memorial of sorts. Everyone there is pretty thankful for the others there. 

Bazzy-Aliahmead - [Nina, first-generation Lebanese-American, is an event planner who doesn't wear the hijab. She wants to open a nightclub in Dearborn. She's married to Alex, a gasoline distributor, and they have a son, Andre.] She remembers 9/11 as a day when people bought gas, groceries, and water, and women wearing scarves were attacked because people were scared.

Jaafar - [Angela and Mike, high school sweethearts, have been married for 11 years. They have two boys and two girls. She's in marketing for an auto manufacturer and he is a Deputy Chief for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.] We see the family head to a baseball game, but that's about it.  

Amen - [Mohsen and Lila have four grown children - Suehaila, Samira, Shadia, and Bilal. Samira and Shadia are married and appear with their spouses on the show. Suehaila is 32, unmarried, and works as a court clerk and in a PR/political realm as well; Bilal (also unmarried) works as an athletic director. The Amen siblings often have dinner together.] Sue takes part in an interview about Muslims and how they've been impacted by 9/11. Lila talks about her experience on 9/11 - People from all over her building came to her that day and said that it wasn't her. [that's interesting.] She goes to a 9/11 memorial event, and wishes that her children would have joined. Bilal and Shadia head to new York for a trip and to meet a famous tattoo artist. Lila doesn't like tattoos, as she believes that bodies belong to God. [LoL at Jews and Muslims arguing over who makes the better falafal and hummus.] Sue asks about the high point of their trip, and Shadia says meeting Ami James, of New York Ink, another TLC show. Bilal also quotes Ami, "the sad thing is, we have to leave our countries so we can be friends."

McDermott - [Shadia (Amen) has a son, Adam, from a previous marriage and recently married Jeff. Shadia has piercings, tattooes, wears a lot of makeup, doesn't wear the hijab, and is a special education aide.] Shadia (as well as Bilal) doesn't want to go to a 9/11 event because she doesn't want to publicly confront their feelings and memories. While Shadia and Bilal are in New York, they go see the 9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero, and some girls came up and asked Shadia about her "I am Not a Terrorist" shirt. Shadia has tons of tattoos ideas, but it'll take time and thought before she does them. 

Fawaz - [Samira (Amen) is married to Ali, and they've been trying to conceive for several years. Samira recently returned to wearing the hijab, having removed it post-9/11. She is a medical receptionist] Not seen this episode.
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