TALENTED BUNCH KEEPS IT IN THE FAMILY
When asked who is the best actor, herself or her dad, 11-year-old Aya Mardass immediately replies, “Me!” The room quickly fills with laughter, with Aya’s amongst the loudest.
Aya and her producer, director and actor father Hamid are the talents behind the new programme Me and My Daughter, which will be aired on both SAT‑7 KIDS and SAT‑7 ARABIC. The programme uses a range of segments to examine the relationship between a father and daughter, which includes some inevitable conflicts.
During the show, Hamid and Aya speak in two different Arabic dialects: a North African version spoken in Morocco and a Lebanese dialect. This is because Aya’s parents speak the different dialects.
“This is so it will be easy for viewers from across North Africa and the Middle East to understand us,” Hamid says. “It’s a big challenge. The first segment in each programme is a comedic drama,
and my daughter and I are fighting. She’s talking in the Lebanese dialect, I’m talking in the Moroccan, and this sets the theme of the episode. “We even fight about the title of the programme,” he continues. “I’m always saying, ‘Me and My Daughter,’ and she’s saying, ‘No, Me and My Dad’.
A colourful programme
“Following the comedic drama, we have other segments including a quote of the day, which is
presented in French, Arabic and English. There is a different song in each programme, for which we are joined by a parrot puppet. There is also the ‘challenge of the day’.”
These different elements are a lot to pack into each episode, and the result is a colourful and entertaining programme. The show’s success is mainly thanks to the talents of Hamid, who apart from starring in it, wrote, directed and filmed it in their Cyprus home using a range of cameras.
The programme will be aired across all our Arabis language channels later this year.
A positive role model
“What we are trying to do is present a positive model for families in the Arab world,” says Hamid. “Often there is not a good connection between a father and his children, and we are trying to present an alternative in a humorous way.”
The show emphasises how a father and daughter can be friends and have fun together, challenging a more traditional dynamic in which a child blindly obeys their parents or even fears them.
Covering different topics
The programme covers a wide range of topics, from the importance of telling the truth and the need to be physically active, to what happens when we die. One episode focuses on helping children find their individual talents. There’s no doubting one of Aya’s talents – she is a natural entertainer.
What we are trying to do is present a positive model for families in the Arab world.”