Television viewers across the Arab world were in for a treat this Ramadan, with the airing of a special programme on Japan. In its fifth season, Khawater (Thoughts) visited Japan, where a young Saudi preacher Ahmed Al Shugairy explained the Japanese success story to Arab and Muslim viewers.
The one-month show explained Japan's experience of progress and reasons behind its success. Al Shugairy tried to portray how Japanese people follow the principles of Islam in their day to day manners even without being Muslims.
Many Arab bloggers, thinkers, writers and other preachers praised the program, and hoped to one day see their countries as developed as Japan.
Labeed, from Saudi Arabia, wrote a blog post under the title “Ahmed Al Shugairy the great visionary“:
Ahmad Al Shugairy is one of the most inspiring people I have ever listened to. He is out there with a strong belief that one day he will make a difference.
For those who don’t know him! He has a show called “Khawater خواطر” that airs everyday in Ramadan, what he does in a nutshell is sharing his ideas and thoughts to the whole Muslim world and sometimes the Arab world in particular. These thoughts are presented in a documentary style with a short straight forward messages.
She also said:
انو بيطلع فضايح و و و الخ
لكن انا ضد هادي الافتراآتهوا قال من أول حلقه أستحملوا الجاي والمطلـــــوب رفع المـــعـــــــــــايـــــيـــــــــر !! ياناس
أول خطوه لتصحيح الخطأ هو الإعتراف به
Since the first episode, he asked us to bear him and said we need to raise our standards because the first step to correct something wrong is to admit it!
Mohannad El-Tayeb, from the UAE, quotes Al Shugairy as saying:
“To every young man and woman, you’re not responsible for Arabs being retard today, and nobody has the right to blame you for that!! But young men and women of today are responsible of the future of the Arab countries, you are responsible of what we’ll be after 25 years, means that “WE” decide the situation of the Islamic world in 2030″
Mohannad then commented:
This year Khawater 5 is released. Ahmad Al Shugairy traveled to Japan and made this season there. He shows that Japanese people are still keeping their traditions and customs, while they’re developing quickly. It’s amazing. you’ve got to watch it.
Wafa from Tunisia wrote a post titled “Khawater…in less than 15 min, lots of lessons!!“. In this post, she said:
This year, ‘Khawater 5′ takes us to Japan and back!
Al Shugairy compares issues in Japan and the Arab world, which he’s calling ‘another planet’!
We see how organized, clean, disciplined and punctual the Japanese people are.
We see how they respect each other, respect the elderly, respect boundaries and respect their selves!
Isn’t this exactly how we all should be? No matter what religion we belong to, isn’t this how a good human being should be?
Aren’t these the morals and conditions that make this world a better place?
And N_spirit from Algeria wrote under “I love khawater” saying:
Pour ce Ramadan 1430, et d’après la bande d’annonce Khawater 5, Ahmad Al Shukairy a choisi de voyager vers le Japon, et en retirer des leçons du peuple Japonais qui a pu se relever et s’est reconstruit en un temps record après les bombardements atomiques de Hiroshima et Nagasaki.
Ahmed Amr from Saudi Arabia wrote under the title “Between values and reality” [Ar] a comment to people who criticize the programme and Al Shugairy. Also, Nahar [Ar] from UAE, Jeedo, a Jordanian blogger living in the US, and Egyptian blogger Ahmed Bassiony[Ar] , all wrote about how they are impressed with the programme, and how they wish their countries to be like Japan someday. They also expressed interest in visiting Japan.
Blogger Reem Al Saleh from Saudi Arabia wrote:
أحمد الشقيري يقول كلمته كل يوم ويمشي، ويتركنا نفخربشاب سعودي استطاع أن يقدم صورة جميلة للدين بعيدا عن الصورة المشوهة التي ينقلها لنا المتطرفون أو أولئك الذين لديهم حساسية من كلمة دين أو إسلام.
Ahmad Al Shugairy says his words every day then leaves. He leaves us proud of a young Saudi man who was able to provide a beautiful image of the religion, away from the distorted image conveyed by extremists or those who are allergic from the word religion or Islam.
On the other hand, Subzero, a Tunisian who lives with his wife Bluerose and is preparing for a Masters in Electronics Engineering in Tokyo wrote about one disappointment of his, despite his utter fascination with the show:
The way Ahmad-san talks about Japan is really great! It is very similar to how I talk to my friends about Japan, and in some cases he used the exact same words! To be honest, even though I like the guy so much, I was disappointed and mad to know he was in Tokyo and yet he did not even try to contact Muslims there. I would really have done anything to talk to him and help him go around Tokyo, in addition to giving some thoughts about the program.
And lastly, Saudi blogger Masha'al criticizes those who talk about their admiration for the programme and yet, do not practice what they preach, and adds: