Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 22-07-2011

Civil and political unrest in Egypt and Syria - two of the Middle East’s largest producers of TV programming – is playing havoc with Ramadan television schedules, according to Arab News.

Faced by uncertainty over content for the all-important Holy Month, schedulers for the Arab world’s satellite TV operators are reportedly turning to dramas made in the Persian Gulf – particularly those from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Dubai-based pan-Arab broadcaster MBC is reported to have lined up three Saudi produced television shows for Ramadan. One of these, ‘Tash’ - which stars Nasser Al-Qasabi and Abdullah Al-Sadhan - has been aired in the Middle East and North Africa during Ramadan for the past 18 years. The soap opera ‘Umm Al-Hala’, meanwhile, will also reportedly return to MBC screens after a popular Ramadan airing last August.

The third Saudi show, ‘Saeed Al Haz’, has also been picked up by MBC, according to Arab News, which describes it as focusing “on people working in a scrapyard who face a lot of difficulties with customers, especially those involved in accidents.” The serial, which stars Muhammad Al-Essa and Abdul Naser Darweesh, also tackles a number of social issues, according to the report.

It is unclear yet what content Egyptian broadcasters have lined up for Ramadan, which begins on or close to 1 August. However, the TV drama ‘Samara’ has recently been axed from schedules across the Middle East because its star, Ghada Abdul Raziq, publically supported Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak and opposed the revolution which deposed him earlier this year.