Noor, the soap that breaks up couples

Everyone's talking about Noor this summer. The Turkish series has caused such a storm in the Middle East, it's even been blamed for breaking up marriages and causing suicides.

The popularity of the show - which has been dubbed into Syrian Arabic for the Middle East - might have something to do with the incredible anecdotes that surround it. Tales of women blaming their husbands for not being as romantic as those in the show; someone selling a herd of goats just to be able to watch the programme in peace; people refusing to go to weddings if it's on; Saudi Arabia even launching a fatwa against the show's broadcasters - the stories were as exaggerated as the soap itself. So why so much success? Maybe because of the blend of east and west, featuring both "free love" and Islam at the same time.

A typical storyline...

"I can’t miss an episode!"

Fatima al Zahra al Alaoui, 24, is an accountant's assistant in Fes, Morocco.

I love the show. It tells you so much about a society that you hardly know anything about. Somehow it manages to tell a love story without being offensive. It's set in a western style society, but you still find Arab and Muslim values. For example, the granddad is a very important figure in the family. Not just as a head of the family, but as someone very close to his children, who respect him a lot.

Here in Morocco everyone's hooked. A newspaper reported that someone committed suicide because their parents refused to let them watch Noor for two weeks. People are also really interested in private lives of the star couple, Mohannad and Noor.

Seriously, I cannot miss an episode!"

"You wouldn’t find these people in real life"

Saud Kassouha, 25, is a bank worker from Homs, Syria.

The show tells the story of a very rich, aristocratic family. The characters are all super-perfect. Noor and Mohannad, the lead characters, are almost gods. You wouldn't find these people in real life. They seem to be able to do absolutely anything. To get Noor, Mohannad does ridiculous things that nobody could do [he constantly changes his disguise, pays musicians to serenade Noor etc.].

What I hate most is the influence this series has on society. People have divorced because of Noor! Women expect their husbands to be as romantic and marvellous as Mohannad and the husbands get jealous. It's mad!"

The web reacts to Noor with cartoons

The series poses family problems...


The sign above the door reads "cosmetic surgeon". The man's carrying a picture of Mohannad.


A couple dream of Noor and Mohannad, respectively.



Television is NOT real life

This is only an example what happens if people think that TV shows reality or real life. For all we know, there is no thing like a perfect woman or a perfect man, and men and women are undoubtly different- physically, mentally and in their thinking patterns(this is what TV likes to make us forget, they are actors, no real life characters!). The broadcasters and the TV Channels want to earn money, not provide any serious advice how to maintain a happy marriage!
People should work on their own personalities and value what they have, because they will never find someone like these fake characters! And if they really want to break up, they should have thought about their partner before marriage and contemplate the consequences of their own actions.
For all other behavior(waste of money and time for this dream world)- hopefully they will wake up before they awake in misery, because this series will end- our everyday life and social contacts not!