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Middle East Through Hollywood’s Eyes



If you’re like me, a walking talking movie loving gal, then you would have probably invested a lot of your time into watching movies as you grew up, and even if you weren’t, you would still watch the latest box office number one because frankly, we all love movies. Movies are still frames that hold a plot and answer and a hero we all hold affection for – or in the case of Thor and his diabolical eye-candy brother Loki, we love the evil mastermind as well. That goes without saying that lots of people look up to different criteria of films; action, romance, comedy, the list is endless.

Hollywood loves a good story, loves to mold it just right for the audience and have it served with impeccable ingredients to finally have the seamless dinner for every movie fanatic. Many of action movies like to show their heroes and villains fight in desert areas, most times cities that haven’t been fully industrialized to add that flawless spice of the unknown in the plot.

As I grew up, I was in love with action movies and in love with the theatrics that bring it to the extreme brink of my excited imagination, I do however remember growing up looking at movies that I was fond of and found myself being indirectly targeted and labeled as a terrorist, or as the ‘bad person’ for simply being born on the wrong geographical area of the world. I had to grow up with the knowledge that where I was born, we were classified as uneducated evil filled population that always thirsted for blood and was seemingly always the uncivilized group.

Can you imagine a five year old little girl or boy asking their father why the hero of the movie was shooting people speaking their own language? Or why is the very place she grew up in, a full city with the same height of towers, cars, and civilization was portrayed in the movies as people who still live in huts? It is quite astounding how Hollywood remains racist – and yes I use that word in every meaning of its definition – towards Middle Eastern people, how to them we are still as uneducated and uncivilized as the whole world was over two thousand years ago? Is it only westerners – I do mean white people who seem to repopulate themselves in any area they find and call it their own – that get to be shown as civilized?

A correct example to give to you my dear readers was the release of the movie “Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol” that came out in 2011, and while everyone loves Tom Cruise – myself included – I was entirely put off at the way Dubai was shown. Yes they showed the immense civilization Dubai has, and yes they showed the Burj Khalifa, but Hollywood couldn’t let go of its racist and drilled in idea that Middle East cannot ever be completely civilized that it ended up making a massive sandstorm during the movie and resulting in Mr. Cruise to run away from it entirely leaving any trace of civilization and back to the ‘middle easterners live in huts’ which you can clearly see.

The issue here is solely focused on Hollywood’s needs to show every culture besides their own to be underneath them, I mean no insult to anyone from any culture, but the fact that in every movie involving anyone that isn’t white – we are either terrorists, or just uneducated herds that need America to survive. This need of the white man to involve himself in countries that are classified as undeveloped or are currently becoming a developing country feeds the stomachs of those who hide behind Hollywood’s façade. Another movie that I’d like to bring to light is one which we have all watched and all loved because it involved characters we’ve seen as children and there are so many different divisions of it that it’s become normal to see such sightings of countries in the Middle East to be, well, lesser than theirs.

If you guessed it right my friend I applaud you but if you are yet to decide which of the movies I refer to it’s the one and only “Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen” where Shia LaBeouf playing the character of Sam Witwicky and his intelligent and beautiful girlfriend Mikaela Banes played by the one and only Megan Fox enter yet another war with the Decepticons and have to fight them to win.

In the movie they realize that they have to travel to different countries found in the Middle East; Jordan and Egypt. The scene was bit of what you would expect out of a Hollywood movie, people living in the middle of a desert with camels and sheep and absolutely no form of communication between them.

It’s not only the method of how they perceived the countries, but how they indirectly label anyone from Middle East and even Asia as terrorists, how they paint a direct circle on the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’. Hollywood has labeled Arabs, Paki’s, and so many different cultures and countries as terrorists thus coaching the minds of the young generations a perfect picture for who to blame when one does a terrorist act in the name of a religion or even a country but has no correlation or even any representation of the actual thing. Children are already taught from a young age that Asia and Africa are undeveloped countries in need of the white man’s help and that the former are places harboring evil people who wish harm on America when truth to be told not even a proper quarter of the whole population of these two places hold the amount of terrorism that’s found in America by its own people.

If Hollywood would take a minute out of its time to properly educate itself on how much Middle East has advanced they would be forced into showing it as it really is, countries that are just as important as America. And I know I’m not the only one to grow up seeing such place that is my home, my culture, being exploited and twisted around in the name of movies just to bring in that little extra cash with no conscience of what the effect of their portrayal would be to the cultures and countries they have offended. So, Hollywood, get it together and start showing the massive diverse world as colorful and powerful as it is not how you want it to be, you have a huge population of children and adults of many generations feeding off the type of imagery you show, isn’t it time to show the world exactly how it is? We no longer live in the era where the whole world is trading instead of money, cultures have changed and people have grown just as much as America has and as 2016 rolls in I say it’s time we bring the rays of light on the other side of the world properly and respectfully, don’t you?

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