The Sultan's Harem (Harim el Sultan)

Yara SalamehYou definitely heard of the new Turkish soap opera “Harim el Sultan” (The Sultan’s Harem). The series is inspired from real historical events, and focuses specifically on the harem, scattered with danger, hatred, and a constant competitiveness to the sultan’s heart. The Sultan’s Harem has gained wide success and popularity across the Arab world, but what is portrayed isn’t a true image of women; in other words, stereotypes/ misconceptions…

A common criticism of this show is the treatment of women. I believe that the soap opera is showing that the meaning of powerful women is limited to their ability of winning in a revenge dynamic and that achieving their goal is met only by the intermediate of lying and cheating; if they want to achieve something, they end up realizing it by killing or hurting someone instead of doing the best they can, and defying all obstacles by telling the truth and taking advantage of their intelligence and social status. Are these really the only ways we have to use to attain our objectives as women, as human beings? Is revenge sweet?

The show has broken the values of women and morality. Women appear as weak persons ruled by a dictatorial sultan, and their only focus is on material things. Are these really the only things that we care about? Where is their intelligence? Their participation in political decisions? Their love and caring personalities? The popular series is teaching girls to be money-oriented and boys to be arrogant. Indeed, it is an outstanding Turkish drama production, however, every person watching it shouldn’t consider it as an educational documentary or a trustworthy reference, but as a leisure TV show.

As a conclusion, when you watch something, it is essential to keep your critical spirit and simply be aware of what you’re seeing and listening to… Try not to be that woman who is taken by the harem’s gorgeous dresses and furniture!


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Harem el Sultan

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