Not A Home Makeover Show

LeylaMilani6.jpgThe suspicious-looking individual to the right is a Muslim. Would you feel nervous if you saw her on an airplane?

The reason I ask is that my attention was drawn to the NBC game show “Deal Or No Deal,” which I haven’t actually seen on television, but appears to involve suitcases that may or may not be filled with large amounts of cash, presented to contestants by a bevy of hot models. The show’s website emphasizes the models, and when I checked it out the featured model to appear on my screen was this one, #13, name of Leyla. It struck me from her name and her visage that she might just be, you know, one of them, even though the web bio supplied for her only told me that she came from Toronto. And that she has “the face of an Angel and the drive of a tigress,” and was once a tomboy but is now “no longer a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination,” if you get my drift, phwarrr phwarrr. Fortunately the Persian Mirror was more forthcoming in identifying Leyla Milani and claiming her as one of their co-ethnics, which means in all likelihood she’s Muslim as well.

So, you ask, what does this have to do with the price of chapatis? Well, not much, really, except that the reason I was investigating “Deal or No Deal” in the first place was because of this Craigslist ad that was picked up today by Gawker:

Do you get nervous when you see a Muslim on an airplane? Have your opinions about Muslims changed since September 11? Do you have family or friends that get nervous around Muslims?

A NEW SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.

The show will profile families in different communities across the country. This one hour documentary-style series from the producers of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Deal or No Deal” will take a look at the people and cultures that make up America.

This series will also explore other issues that families from varied backgrounds face in their day-to-day life and provide opportunities to them that they might not have access to otherwise. This is not a home makeover show.

This is a paid opportunity.

If you are interested or have any questions about this show, please e-mail the following information to AshtonRamsey@Yahoo.com.

I repeat: THIS IS NOT A HOME MAKEOVER SHOW. So even if your closets are jammed full of last year’s hijabs and were decorated in Saddam-era 1980s Arabesque kitsch, do not apply. It’s also not a game show, presumably — or is it? what do the suitcases contain? are there airplanes involved? — although it is a “paid opportunity.” I guess you can email Ashton if you want to know more.

79 thoughts on “Not A Home Makeover Show

  1. The suspicious-looking individual to the right is a Muslim. Would you feel nervous if you saw her on an airplane?

    Hell to the naw!!

  2. if you get my drift, phwarrr phwarrr. Fortunately the Persian Mirror was more forthcoming in identifying Leyla Milani and claiming her as one their co-ethnics

    Well, actually, there are an awful lot of Persians who are Zorastrian, Bahai, Christian, and even Jewish, so. . . .it’s not a slam dunk conclusion. But certainly a massive probability.

  3. Leyla will soon be seen as on the small screen as “Allegra,” the fiery Jersey girl and best friend of the show’s mafia princess in the brand new primetime drama, “Desire.”

    I knew she looked familiar! I am shamelessly obsessed with trash tv.

    You know, the show is not a terrible idea. In fact, maybe I should email. I have (shamefully) felt uncomfortable around groups of Muslims. And just as “The Swan” helped me realize that people who get nosejobs are (were?) human, this might teach people that Muslims come in all shapes, shades, and lifestyles — Leyla being a fantabulous example.

  4. Well, actually, there are an awful lot of Persians who are Zorastrian, Bahai, Christian, and even Jewish, so. . . .it’s not a slam dunk conclusion. But certainly a massive probability.

    I know, I know. That’s why I said “in all likelihood.” I’d never try to pull a fast one like that on the eagle-eyed and quick-witted Sepia readership.

  5. I actually happened upon this Craigslist ad today on Craigslist … thought “damn, that’s one more job i am not qualified for.”

    I get nervous when I see babies on airplanes. I know I will not be sleeping on the flight ahead.

  6. A NEW SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.

    Sounds a lot like a recycled version of that failed NBC “sting” at a NASCAR event:

    NBC News baited the hook, but netted nothing in its “sting” attempt to find anti-Muslim sentiments during the Martinsville race weekend. By its own admission NBC News was so “intrigued by the results of a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll and other articles regarding increasing anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States” that it decided to make the news, rather than merely report.Link
  7. Persians who are Zorastrian, Bahai, Christian, and even Jewish

    christian iranians are usually ethnically armenian (andre agassi’s father). of course a lot of persian iranians who grew up in the USA probably converted too (i know some). zoroastrians are in very small numbers. so if not muslim, prolly bahai or jewish, with the higher probability being bahai because they are unambiguously ethnically persian and would have no peculiar names.

  8. That come hither look is definitely Abrahamic.

    It might be better not to let her near any jet engines. Can’t be too careful with these theists.

  9. and was once a tomboy but is now “no longer a tomboy

    I’ve wondered before too – do super sexy women get double super sexy points if they were once tomboys? It’s on almost every famous hottie’s resumé.

  10. haha i saw this ad earlier today as well and my first thought was that sepia mutiny might feature it. i still don’t get what the premise of the show is… are they going to set up a “haunted” house but fill it with items and people related to islam? (with what’s on tv these days, you never know). or maybe it’s more a dateline nbc type show having a town-hall meeting with people that are uncomfortable around muslims? just throwing some ideas out there…

  11. O believers! Look not upon the flesh of the houri who displays herself for the kuffars!

    O believers! It is impermissable to look upon the flesh of a Muslim woman!

    O believers! Find the houris where ever they are and bring them back to the path of righteous!

    O believers! Hit it hard and hit it often!

  12. daimn! so that’s what they look like under the hijab. shite. time to cruise Tehranto, that’s yonge and finch for you satan acolytes, and pick up some dates (that’s al-khajoor).

  13. And that she has “the face of an Angel and the drive of a tigress,” and was once a tomboy but is now “no longer a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination,” if you get my drift, phwarrr phwarrr.

    chokes on drink

    Somebody going to the NY meetup do me a favor and make Siddhartha say this line, sound effects and all.

  14. A NEW SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.

    I don’t understand why they are correlating traditional family values with racism. There are alot of people with traditional family values but have some other weird/wrong belief(s) as well. Like my coworker who is a staunch Catholic Repulican but STRONGLY believes that both parents should work outside the home in order for the child(ren) to realize that they need to do thing on their own and can’t always rely on mommy and daddy.

    I think this show could be a good thing if it allows the people with these attitudes to open their minds up (AND show this transformation on TV) about Islam and Muslims and not judge an entire people by the actions of a few.

  15. I agree with the cliche “I was a gawky tomboy when I was growing up…” model opening line. Where’s the model that says “Damn right I was hot. All the boys wanted me and I knew it, so what?”

    The concept has been done before (see Ice Cube’s Black/White and Morgan Spurlock’s 30 days series – bleeding heart slant, but well done nonetheless). If this gets off the ground it will be scripted to it’s desired effect in that they will pick some judgmental, WASP family who will in the beginning fear and possily hate the muslim family they are paired up with, but after spending time to get to know them they will come to realize that they are people too (much like the hard core Republican Rachael in Real World San Francisco learned to understand and empathize with HIV positive Pedro).

  16. jokes apart – that’s a pretty common look this side of the world – clean air and (often) mixed parentage.

    then, there is something to be said for the raaj kumar approach – who waxed poetic over the courtesan’s feet – the only part of her he had seen – (Kush, amitabh – i have a feeling you will know what i’m talkign about).

  17. Khush kar diya, Kush. :-)

    For those who dont understand hindi, that little piece at 0:22 goes something like this ,”I beg your pardon. I entered your compartment by mistake. Saw your feet. They are very beautiful. Dont let them touch the ground. They’ll get soiled”. OK… it’s a little odd in english – but i loved his diction and voice.

  18. These famous lines from Pakeezah: Aap ke paon dekhey, bahut haseen hain, inheen zameen par mat utariyega maile ho jayengey secured for Raaj Kumar a permanent place in the Hall of Fame

    all the hulbaloo over a guy with foot fetish

    but meena kumari did have pretty nice feet

    :)

    oh and by the way I think crazytown video director also has foot fetish … their video ends with ‘foot-age’ of this pretty little thing (as crazytown call her) sticking her dainy toe at the camera

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWz_-OOiV-0

  19. all the hulbaloo over a guy with foot fetish

    sorry about the diversion… but the use of the “hulbaloo” sent me on a tangent. kiran desai was on cbc’s writers & company yesterday… and it was a charming interview. take a listen if you get the chance. it was if she were speaking my experiences… i was alternately the grandfather and the child from her latest … one of the privileges i have that previous generations didnt is that the contemporary ind-lit speaks of me for me or alternately it is my purchasing power that has put voice to my experiences… either way… i feel lucky.., pardon the meander.. time to crash. ggg”nite folks.

  20. The suspicious-looking individual to the right is a Muslim. Would you feel nervous if you saw her on an airplane?

    In 20-odd years of flying by my lonesome, I have yet to sit next to anyone who looked remotely like this. Would I be nervous? No more so than I am when I get squeezed into the middle seat between two corn-fed heifers who insist on keeping the armrests up and nattering endlessly about how Clay Aiken is sooooo goooood and how they’ve eaten every calorie in the Midwest and must now move to another part of the country and consume it, like a plague of two locusts.

    Sorry.

    No bitterness. Nope.

  21. You don’t even have to go as far as a blondified Iranian Toronto girl – Salma Hayek and Shakira are of Lebanese descent and their names are Muslim; look at Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman, closer to home; look at any of the popular Arab singers like Nancy Ajram and Haifa Wehbe and Ruby (do a YouTube search for Arabic music video clips) and they’d give the item girls a run for their money. This nonsense about all Muslims being fundies and all Muslim women being shrouded in tents is so daft. But of course the show will pick some bearded guy as representative of “Muslims” rather than a tight-shirted eurotrashy Lebanese or Egyptian college kid.

  22. Salma Hayek and Shakira are of Lebanese descent and their names are Muslim

    arab christians have ‘muslim’ names? :) well…their names are arab, but that doesn’t mean they are muslim! in a non-arab culture of course an arab name connotes someone being a muslim. interestingly, a i recall a parsi journalist with the first name ‘faroukh’ (like freddie mercury) was once threatened by pakistani british muslims with death because he was an ‘apostate muslim’ (his defense of salman rushdie, etc. etc.). he amusingly explained in the following up letter that parsis tend to have persian first names for obvious reasons….

  23. Oops – my bad. Most of the Lebanese Christians I know have fairly distinctive names. But Haifa Wehbe is decidedly Shia. Check HER out – she’d put blondified chick above to shame.

  24. arab christians have ‘muslim’ names? :) well…their names are arab, but that doesn’t mean

    Yes, I have some friends who are Palestanian Christians (one of them is Bethelem Christian – her family is as close to Jesus Christ as it gets), and all of them I know have Arab names. I think majority of them non-European sounding names but some of them Jewish sounding names too, but not too much after the intifada. If you meet the ones I know, in their mannerisms they are predominantly Arab first, and they will tell you that.

    Maybe, ArZan will explain Parsee names – they sound Persian, Gujurati, Marathi, and whatnot.

    RE: 25, Most of the earlier sophisticated Bollywood actresses were Muslims, even the ones with Hindu sounding screen names, like Meena Kumari. Top socialiate in India toady is Nafisa Ali – her parents are Christian and Muslim, she is married to a Sikh, and practices Vedanta.

  25. i believe surnames are relatively new to the parsis, so they are all over the place (some gujarati, some english occupational, etc.). but forenames often seem persian, like cyrus or rustam.

  26. Leyla Milani = Blonde, hot, possibly not-very-strict Muslim…..Razib must think all his Ramadans have come at once :)

    Haifa Wehbe looks quite similar to Indian item-number girl Rakhi Sawant. Sort of.

    Actually, I’ve noticed that some of the female anchors on Al-Jazeera are quite insanely hot too (based on the various clips I’ve seen on CNN etc).

    I met some girls originally from Iran and other parts of the Middle-East (eg. Jordan) when I was at university in London, and also subsequently professionally too, and the desi guys would frequently go nuts over them because some of the black-haired ones just looked like really pretty desi girls. The young women themselves were quite bemused (and amused) by all the attention. It was also funny when people would initially mistake them for a Punjabi, Kashmiri or Pakistani babe and start dropping Hindi/Urdu or Punjabi words into the conversation when talking to them; they would nod away politely, and then 3 days later you’d find out they were actually from Amman or some part of Iran or whatever ;)

    They often get on very well with the desi crowd, though. Speaking of which, there’s a British “desi” band called “Rouge” with 3 female singers, only one of whom is actually Indian — the other two are Iranian and Egyptian respectively. This particular song has got a lot of airplay on B4U Music and Zee Music here in the UK. Lyrics could be better but the song is catchy enough, and the video’s good.

    Something else I’ve noticed is that the now-adult children of many people who escaped to Britain when the Shah was deposed sometimes insist on being called “Persian” instead of Iranian.

    but forenames often seem persian, like cyrus or rustam.

    I think “Xerxes” would be a really badass name to have. Imagine introducing yourself: “Hi, my name’s Bob”. “Hello, I’m Raj”.

    “And who are you ?”

    Dramatic pause

    [Amitabh Bachchan voice] “They call me Xerxes”.

    Oh, and finally…..

    PS: Usually, I read only a small fraction of comments, and post but am glad that I read this one because I think Pakeezah is a master piece.

    Kush, I agree completely. I love films like that.

  27. I met some girls originally from Iran and other parts of the Middle-East (eg. Jordan) when I was at university in London, and also subsequently professionally too, and the desi guys would frequently go nuts over them because some of the black-haired ones just looked like really pretty desi girls.

    LA, ahem Los Irangeles, is the US equivalent. Brown boyz flock there like flies to a jalebi baklava.

    “Rouge” with 3 female singers, only one of whom is actually Indian

    from one Singh to another, Amrita Hunjan =)

  28. In fact many if not most of the Los Angeles Persians are jewish. I think the greater likelihood is that this girl is not muslim either (though she could be, of course).

  29. If you spend time in the nightclubs and bars of Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge in London, especially in the summer, they are overflowing with stunningly attractive Arab and Iranian women in skimpy dress, knocking back the vodka and rum and enjoying themselves.

  30. Salma Hayek and Shakira are of Lebanese descent and their names are Muslim

    Just gotta give my sisters in the deep south props-Shakira is half Colombiana, half Lebanese-American. Her legal name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (Ripoll being Espanol, of course). Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia- where I have relatives…

  31. Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia…

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca, but lived in Barranquilla for a long time as a young journalist.

    His hips don’t lie either.

  32. A NEW SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.

    Hasn’t this already been done before on that show by the Super Size Me guy?

  33. No von Mises,

    Brown boyz flock there like flies to a jalebi baklava.

    (I see that you remember my punchline from one of my “Colonial Jai” anecdotes !). I’m assuming that the desi guys in the US also really go for some of the Hispanic babes too, no ? At least the Salma Hayek types ? (Yes I know she’s half-Lebanese, but you know what I mean).

    from one Singh to another,

    O kiddaaaaaan ;)

    Amrita Hunjan =)

    Yes she’s nice, very leggy. She won the Miss India UK contest a few years ago. She really is a superb singer, though, I’m really impressed.

    I admit that I had originally liked the Iranian one, she’s got a nice husky-throaty singing voice. The Egyptian one is foxy too (as you can see in the video). Arrrgh, dammit, I can’t choose between them…..

    Having just looked at Amrita’s Wikipedia page, I see that Rouge also have their own website here. They seem to be doing quite well for themselves.

  34. Amitabh,

    In fact many if not most of the Los Angeles Persians are jewish.

    That’s really interesting, I had absolutely no idea about that. I do know that the LA-based Persian community is quite heavily opposed to the current theocratic regime back in Iran, though.

    I think the greater likelihood is that this girl is not muslim either (though she could be, of course).

    It’s sometimes difficult to tell with the really Westernised ones (and some of them also have first-names like “Susan”, which is apparently an actual Persian name — albeit pronounced differently — but obviously an “English” one too). Some of those I’ve met in London would either say they were atheist, or the topic of their religious background just didn’t come up. I’d always assumed they were not-very-strict Muslims, and it’s only very recently that I’ve found out that Iran does have a small Jewish community too. Are there still any Zoroastrians there ?

    they are overflowing with stunningly attractive Arab and Iranian women

    It’s sometimes quite staggering how beautiful some of the women from that part of the world are. They’re absolute knock-outs.

    Last year’s Miss Canada in the Miss World contest was also from the Middle-East — she’s of mixed Assyrian and Persian background.

    Linking this to my comment in my previous post about desi guys and Latina women, I have to mention that the Hispanic entrants to the Miss World contest are sometimes quite stunning too. The black-haired ones in particular seem to push all the right buttons from a desi male perspective.

  35. Asha’s Dad, you realize in your analogy you are comparing being brown to having a terminal illness?

  36. In fact many if not most of the Los Angeles Persians are jewish.

    yeah, it was news to me too… 95% of the persians in west los angeles are jewish.. of the 15 persians who were in my class, 13 were jewish, 1 was zorastrian, and 1 was muslim..

  37. In fact many if not most of the Los Angeles Persians are jewish.

    Such as actress Bahar Soomekh, who was in Crash and Mission Impossible III.

    Back on Long Island, Great Neck was known as a center of Persian Jews.

  38. i’d get nervous sitting next to her, cause im not that smooth, and $hes hawt…