This is a translated version of the video that started this whole process:
Original video I found in 2011 – (Click here)
In the late spring of 2011, as I was practicing my poor Spanish, I found a video protesting the actions of an Islamic Center in Argentina.
In Argentina?! The land of the gaucho and the tango?!
In my effort to track down the story, I walked into a major subculture; a subculture that I, like most Americans, had no idea even existed, and certainly no idea that it was so massive.
With my poor Spanish, and some e-mails to a wonderfully helpful Argentine, I was able to put together a story about a popular Arab-Argentine TV show called DESDE EL ALJIBE (From the Well), which was run by secular Christian Arabs, mostly Maronite Lebanese, on Argentina’s Public TV Channel 7. It was broadcast on Public TV from Buenos Aires, whose metropolitan area contains about one-third of Argentina’s population. The show was in Spanish – most Arab-South Americans cannot speak Arabic. Apparently, it had a large potential audience.
The show was a weekly Arab-Argentine variety show. The producers and directors let everyone on; but most tellingly the show was not held hostage to a religious agenda. They had Christian, Jewish, and Muslim guests. It was about Arab cooking, history, music, dance, travelogues, etc. Yes, they had on political guests, but most of the time it was just a television folk gathering of a large ethnic community. Interesting music, recipes, tid bits, and they usually closed with an Arab Dance troupe, before cutting to some credits and closing ads by Argentine sponsers against a background of pictures of the Mideast.
Quite interesting! It was aimed at a broad audience, not just Arabs. It shows the clout of South American Arabs that they could even get such shows on Public TV.
Desde El Aljibe – Argentina Public TV – Channel 7
Broadcast Date: April 9, 2005
Yabalna Folk Ballet – Dirs. Nur Kumar and Hanna Al Hasan
Music: Awal Suhur – Mario Kirlis
Credit/Source: ElAljibedetodos (who deserves all the credit for assembling these videos)
NOTE: At the ending there are Argentine sponsors, and Argentina’s Channel 7 credits
In May 2011, after an 8 year run, DESDE EL ALJIBE was cancelled by Argentina’s Public TV to make way for an Islamic TV show called El CÁLAMO Y SU MENSAJE (The Quill and its Message) produced by the Saudi financed King Fahd Mosque in Buenos Aires (which is a story in itself), and which is a blantant piece of Islamic prosyletizing to a nation that doesn’t need it, and didn’t want it.
The problem was: The Arab-Argentine community, about 4 Million strong, was furious. About 90% of the Arabs in Argentina are Christian. Until recently, the Muslims among them were non-practicing. Nobody wanted Saudi religious propaganda, let alone to have it replace a popular secular Arab TV show. Which is why FEARAB-Argentina (Federation of Arab Societies – Argentina) made that protest video, which I translated at the top of the page.
To suddenly replace it with Muslim broadcasting, for which there was no demand, from a Muslim organization financed openly by Saudi Arabia, indicated that something was wrong in the state of Denmark or, at least in this case, the state of Argentina. Argentina is only about 1% Muslim and the vast majority are NOT practicing.
THE QUILL AND ITS MESSAGE
Why on earth would this be allowed on Argentine Public TV?!
What was going on?
Well, when I saw that video at the top of the page, bells rang off in my head.
4 Million Arab-Argentines in a country of only 41 Million people?!
What were Arabs doing in Argentina?!
How many are Christian; how many are Muslim?
And most importantly:
How come we rarely hear about this in America?!
So I started searching. This site shows what I have found out so far.