January 13, 2012
Posted: 1441 GMT
This week a court in the West Bank City of Ramallah overturned a government ban on the broadcast of a highly popular Palestinian satirical television show called "Watan Ala Watar".
Described as a Palestinian version of the American show, "Saturday Night Live", "Watan Ala Watar" or "Nation on the Edge" served up a weekly offering of cutting political and social satire which spared no one in Palestinian society and angered more than a few in the Palestinian Authority.
Sketches on the shows routinely featured parodies of Palestinian political factions including Fatah and Hamas and offered send-ups of sensitive cultural issues like the enforcement of veils for women in Gaza.
Speaking to CNN about the show in 2009, writer and actor Imad Farajin said that when it came to subject matter there were no sacred cows.
"We talk about Abu Mazen, the Palestinian president, and for Arab people to talk about their president through comedy show is not easy, but we did it and I am proud of it," Farajin remarked
The program was pulled off the Palestinian Authority controlled television station in August during the heavy viewing period of Ramadan after a number of Palestinian officials complained that the show unfairly misrepresented them and did damage to their reputations.
Speaking to CNN on Friday Farajin said that some Palestinian officials went as far as to sue the makers of the program.
"We received law suits and complaints from the head of the anti-corruption commission to the head of the police director force," he said.
Farajin said he and the other cast and crew of the show were pleased with the court's decision calling it "a victory for freedom of speech and for the Palestinian arts and culture in general," but he expressed regret that the show was able to be taken off the air in the first place.
"It's not the authority of the attorney general to take us off air, we are the only comedy show in Palestine. We have not been able to work since August of 2011 which a lot of the crew was financially effected."
While the court ruling allows the show to go back on air, it's not clear that the Palestinian Authority-run Palestine TV network will put the program back on the schedule.
Speaking to Agence France Press, Palestine TV's director of programming Imad Asfar said the network was working on developing other shows to replace Watan Ala Watar.
Despite this, Farajin remains unbowed and committed to the show.
"It's my right as a Palestinian citizen and priority for us to go back on Palestinian airwaves, but no one from Palestine TV has approached us to go back."
He says that will not prevent Watan Ala Watar from returning even if it means finding a new home for the program.
"We are negotiating with other Arab networks in the region," he said.
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