Freej: a Ramadan treat
You probably have heard about the Emirati TV show Freej, but did you know the No 1 show in the Gulf region made its debut on the first day of Ramadan in 2006? Television stations air many of their blockbuster mini-series and soap operas during the holy month because Muslims watch a lot of the tube, usually while eating sweets after iftar. But many of these shows come from Egypt or Syria. The great thing about Mohammed Saeed Harib's 3D animated series is that it is home-grown. Freej is an Emirati word meaning "neighbourhood", and of course, the adventures of the four kooky grandmothers are set in Dubai, the Empty Quarter and other local areas.
If you haven't watched the show, it is a great peek at our culture. This year you can win Dh500,000 (US$136,000) if you know your Um Saeed from your Um Saloom (or your Um Allawi from your Um Khammas) as part of a two-minute quiz associated with the show. This year's series will culminate with an hour-long episode featuring a "special guest" that will air on the first day of Eid.