SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia gives ‘yellow light’ to Israel
A new hit series, Exit 7, mirrors a growing desire for engagement between the two countries

By ALISON TAHMIZIAN,ASIATIMES  MEUSE MAY 7, 2020

BEIRUT – As families across Saudi Arabia wrap up their Ramadan feasts and settle in for an evening of TV under the Covid-19 curfew, a new star-studded sitcom is moving the goalposts in how the kingdom presents Israel.

In Exit 7, veteran Saudi actor Nasser al-Qasabi plays Dukhi, an older civil servant in the kingdom working to keep up with the changing society around him.

The show touches on issues like LGBT rights, advocated by his daughter, to women holding senior positions in the workplace, such as Dukhi’s own boss.

But the scene which has turned heads is one in which the protagonist’s father-in-law brushes off the taboo of doing business with Israelis.

“You told him the Israelis are right, and that you’ll do business with them?” demands Dukhi in episode three.

“So what. So what?” the father-in-law Jaber retorts in English, then in Arabic.

“So what!” Dukhi, who symbolizes a more traditional Arab generation, responds incredulously, eyebrows raised