Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Spacetoon Generation

I remember that day in third grade, when I was still trying to adapt to everything concerning living in the Middle East.

Sitting next to Maryam, my new Emarati best friend (who I have lost touch with and would really love to talk to again! Maryoom, if there's a one in a million chance you're reading this and happen to remember this conversation, let me know!). I don't recall what work we'd been given to do, except that I was really engrossed in what I was doing, and was getting slightly distracted with Maryam's soft singing next to me. I put my pen down in annoyance, and stopped to hear what it was she saying:

Ta5ayyal anal kawn
La 6a3ma lahu aw lawn
Aw annal televizyown
Min ghayri spacetoooon


(Imagine that this planet....had no taste or colour....Imagine television....without Spacetoon)

Not recognizing what she was singing doubled my annoyance, and I picked up my pen to resume my work, as Maryam continued singing, waiting for my curiosity to get the better of me.

She stopped singing suddenly and turned her head sharply towards me: "You know it?"
"Tut" was all that could escape my lips, my pride injured at having to give in.
She leaned forward and whispered in my ear, "It's going to be the best kids' channel ever. They're testing it now on Bahrain TV, but soon, it'll be a channel on its own, and I'm going to be the first one to watch it".

Well, you know how there's that age where life is a competition.
I continued my work the rest of the class, appearing to be not interested in what Maryam had to say, but inside I was super super excited. 'I'm going to be the first to watch the best channel ever too!'



That's where it started..
There's a whole generation of Arab kids that Spacetoon helped raise. We loved it. We loved the different planets you could travel to- each with a separate genre of cartoons. We loved all the Arabic-dubbed anime. We loved the feature songs to every cartoon, memorized all the lyrics. We loved the in-between play and learn sessions. We loved the little messages it sent across: the little jiggle about Palestine and freedom, the pop-up fact boxes about each arab country.

Spacetoon was probably one of the most useful projects the Arabs have come up with in a long time...

I miss Spacetoon and the big chunk of my childhood I spent under its spell.

Were you part of The Spacetoon Generation? Share your memories, I'd love to hear from you. What was your favourite kawkab and which cartoons did you watch? What would you have done to improve it? Do you think Spacetoon played a role in strengthening your Arabic language, and in instilling a sense of arab unity in you?

5 comments:

  1. HEY! i remember spacetoon! it made me sad it was in arabic :( channel 33 made my day! too bad its gone.

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  2. Yes, that was another epic channel!

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  3. Yes !! I was a HUGE fan of Spacetoon. I'd wake up so early at 7 and wait for the channel to open and watch all types of animes and I memorised the songs too! I still have them and sing them from time to time :'D My favourite planet was Mukhamarat and Action. I also liked the Arabic alphabet song! I loved Abtal Al Digital, Hazeem Al Ra'ad, Sabiq wa Lahiq, Al Qanas, Dayy Al Shuja'a. XD So yeah, I am part of the Spacetoon Generation AND PROUD!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my god this reply brings back SO MANY MEMORIES. Believe it or not I was just singing hazim al ra3d's intro song it's so so awesome (that's kinda shameful as I'm a 19 y o engineering student..)

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