Dawlat al-Khurafa- The Middle East’s “South Park”

There’s been news about ISIS being crippled after a successful airstrike by the United States against a compound apparently containing one of it’s main leaders, but there are other ways now that the people in the Middle East are battling the terror.

A show called Dawlat al-Khurafa is becoming a popular TV hit in Iraq, with the show now getting a $600,000 budget, which is crazy expensive for any TV show there. The show involves ISIS taking over a small fictional village and the silly antics that follow. The first episode aired recently is already a hit with over 750,000 views on YouTube. It’ll be interesting to see where this leads, and if the Islamic State will respond with laughter… or violence.

Lebanon is also joining the fun, creating it’s own sketch comedy series called Ktir Salbe. 

Critics describe one of the skits, where a jihadist gets into a Middle Eastern cab. The jihadist asks the cab driver to turn off the radio because he rejects modern technology. Likewise, he rejects the air conditioning and he makes fun of the driver for answering his cell phone. The skit ends when the driver asks if cabs existed in the ancient Middle East. When the jihadist says “no,” the driver kicks him out tells him wait for a camel.

I think we can all appreciate this kind of media. As Americans, we are exposed to comedy making light of the war and terrorism all the time. Government propaganda? Oh, absolutely. But it works!

I can only hope the best to the people in Iraq as shows like these take off and fill homes with laughter. It’s one of the key things people over there need right now.


7 thoughts on “Dawlat al-Khurafa- The Middle East’s “South Park”

  1. I never knew shows like this existed. I guess I assumed, which is always bad, that violence would follow if shows like this existed. I really like this blog since I never thought to see how the Middle East was using humor in light of all the war and violence.

  2. Wow Jack much cool, very insight!
    It is actually super cool that they have developed a show like South Park in the Middle East. I mean I’m sure any comedy show like it will be able to riff ISIS crazy and terribleness. Kind of surprised me that Iraqi’s think its funny though!

  3. I think this is a great idea! Comedy does have that ability to lighten the tension in certain situations and on certain subjects that are otherwise taken very seriously. I hope that these shows continue to have success and, through that, hopefully be able to lead to social change on issues that they address. I wonder if ISIS will come out with their own TV show in response… that would be interesting to see.

  4. This is great! Everyone needs a good laugh once in a while and God knows the people in the Middle East could use a little humor in their day. It definitely will be interesting to see where this goes and how ISIS reacts.

  5. This was really interesting to see, I don’t think I would have pictures a south park like show in the Middle East. Although they are making fun of serious issues I think this can help cultures relate more by sort of bonding over watching inappropriate cartoons like these.

  6. Heh, this was a very interesting read. It’s cool to see that the idea of south park – using satire to make political or societal points is popular everywhere. Humor through satire has become one of the main ways to express political opinions here in the U.S, so it’s cool to see that there as well. I wonder if soon there will be a Middle Eastern Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart as well!

  7. Wow, I had no idea anything like this existed in the Middle East! We expect this kind of satire in the US, and I guess it’s pretty ethnocentric of us to think that other cultures wouldn’t enjoy the same thing! I think humor is a good way to express political opinion. To me, it certainly beats violence!

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