“Beit Beut,” an Iraqi reality TV show similar to “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” speaks to Iraqi compassion despite the sectarian violence ravaging the country.

Los Angeles Times:

The creators of “Beit Beut,” the name of a game that has been a staple of Iraqi childhood for as long as anyone can remember, had just the opposite in mind, though. The prime-time reality series that aired every evening during the month of Ramadan, which ended this week, is a unique local hybrid of “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” and its message is “united we stand, divided we fall.”

“When we were selected, they did not consider our identity, our ethnicity or religion. But we do come from different environments, different ethnicities. And despite that, we discovered we are clicking. We are living with each other, we care for each other,” said Jareer Abdullah Moulla, a 26-year-old Shiite Muslim barber and fine arts student from Baghdad who was recently booted off the show.

“The show emphasizes this point to the Iraqis, that we are living together, we can live together, we don’t care what is going on, what plans others may have for us, we are connected to each other,” said Samer Jabber Mohammed, a fashionably dressed young computer engineering student, and a Sunni.

“Beit Beut” rides a wave of reality TV shows that have taken to the Iraqi airwaves with a burgeoning number of independent channels taking the place of the old state-operated TV.


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