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All American Muslim s01e01 "Pilot"

All-American Muslim poster

Written by : published Sunday 20th November 2011

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Reminder: Shadia's wedding to Jeff, the convert.

Recap:

Most of this first episode is about getting to know Shadia and Jeff in the days leading up to their wedding. Jeff is born and raised Irish Catholic, and has to convert to be able to marry her, so he does, though we don't know yet whether he really feels the spiritual need, or if he just wanted to be able to marry the girl he loves. His mom is supportive, though it's not easy. Her mom is head over heels. Her dad is as unsure about things as a dad can be. And through the preparations for the wedding, we meet others in the community who will be the subject of this show. From the offical TLC website:

  • Suehaila and Shadia: Suehaila wears a traditional headscarf and follows daily prayer rituals, while Shadia, her outspoken sister, is decorated with piercings and tattoos and recently married Jeff, an Irish Catholic who is converting to Islam.
  • Nader and Nawal Aoude: Newlyweds expecting their first baby, Nader and Nawal are working to strike the right balance between their traditional Muslim roots and American culture.
  • Fouad Zaban: As head coach of the Fordson High School football team, Fouad has pioneered a shift in his team's summer practice schedule by switching to night workouts to accomodate the majority of his team players who are Muslim and fasting for Ramadan.
  • Mike and Angela Jaafar: Mike, a deputy chief sheriff, and his wife Angela, an automotive marketing coordinator, are juggling their busy careers with raising their four children in a modern Muslim family.
  • Nina Bazzy: A strong independent Muslim businesswoman, Nina's family runs the premier wedding and banquet hall in Dearborn—but against their advice, she is trying to venture off on her own to open a nightclub.
  • Samira Amen-Fawaz and Ali Fawaz: Samira and Ali struggle with fertility issues and are pursuing numerous options, including conventional fertility techniques, dietary alternatives, and Muslim supplication prayers. After years of unsuccessful attempts, Samira is considering putting on the Hijab in order to be closer to God and be blessed with a child.

Review:

This is very much in the vein of all of these TLC reality shows, but at least in these early days, it's pretty good. There are a lot of people in the community to talk to, so the burden of carrying the show doesn't fall too heavily on any one person or couple, and the cross-section seems to be good. We have really devout and old-fashioned people, we have much more 'American' and secular people, we have a few kids, we have several parents, and it looks like a nice wide range to see how people react to them, and them to people.

They're in the North, rather than, say, the really prejudiced South, but the way Conservatives in this country have been fear-mongering, it seems like this is the perfect time for something like this: something that shows that Americans are Americans, regardless of their faith. Something that shows that ignorance is unfair. Hopefully, the show can keep itself away from sensationalizing or fetishizing, and can just tell these peoples' stories.

Watch All American Muslim right here on TheTVKing.com!

About the author SamanthaHolloway

SamanthaHolloway

Samantha Holloway is a writer, editor, book reviewer and TV reviewer. She's especially fond of the weird, wonderful, clever shows that tend to not last on network channels, and so forms a deep loyalty to them the few times they do. Follow her on twitter at twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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