There is a lot to be said about storytellers who are willing to tell stories about families, but in a quirky and non-sentimental way. Some important topics are addressed in the new Saudi dramedy series Crashing Eid without relying on a preachy tone. The characters are well written, and more importantly, the cultural aspects are very nicely portrayed. No two cultures are truly identical, and Razan and Sameer perhaps didn’t take that into consideration. The couple, with the hopes of getting married, tries to convince their families, but in the middle of it, they find their own trust in themselves dwindling. Crashing Eid is humorous when it needs to be, and extremely delicate and serious while discussing topics like racism and domestic abuse. It really is a heartwarming series with a focus on family as a fulfilling unit of one’s life.
How did Razan’s family find out about Sameer?
Razan, a divorced woman with her daughter Lamar, wanted to find a job in Britain, where she had been living since her divorce. Her parents, Hasan and Mona, were traditional in their approach to life and didn’t expect her to remarry someone they considered an outsider. But Razan didn’t care. She had been through a lot, and when she met Sameer, a British national of Pakistani origin, they fell in love, and it was Razan who proposed. Sameer loved her too, so there were no hiccups in the beginning, and it seemed that they would start their married life and settle in Britain. She would start her research at the university she studied at, and Sameer already had a decent job. Together, they would be a power couple.
As far as accepting Lamar, he had absolutely no problems. He saw her as his own daughter. But the problem arose when Razan tried to explain her decision to her conservative parents. It turns out she thought she was ready to say her truth, but she just wasn’t. When she returned to Jeddah, her hometown, she couldn’t tell them about Sameer. The comedy of errors started when Sameer landed in Jeddah, thinking how it would be more suitable if he just introduced himself in person, easing Razan’s burden a bit. Seeing Sameer’s dressing sense and facial features, Hasan took him for a worker, a handyman in particular, and got him to fix his bed. Razan was bewildered to see him there and tried to cover up the situation by making up all kinds of stories about who Sameer was and why he was there. Lamar tried to help, but eventually the family figured out that the stories turned out to be fake. The couple had to reveal their true intention, and it started a war of words, which seemed too much for the couple to bear.
Why did Sameer’s family refuse to accept Razan?
Hasan was the more understanding of the parents. Mona had her own issues with her sister Hayatt, whose son had married Razan at a young age and from whom she had had to take a divorce. It wasn’t clear at first what had happened, but Razan’s ex-husband was a violent man who used to beat her. This explains Razan’s willingness to be her own person now, an individual who could take a stand for herself, as she had lived in hell for seven years in the marriage, not being able to say anything. Now she had Sameer, who was a gentle soul and promised her the love and affection she had never gotten in her marriage.
Sameer was trying to ameliorate the situation by answering all the queries or doubts Razan’s family had about him. Their prime reservation was that even though Sameer was a Muslim, his cultural background was different. Sameer was accused of being a wanderer who had just come there on a whim without even bringing his parents. This was a red flag, so to speak for Razan’s family. Sameer thought that introducing Hasan, Mona, and Sofyan (Razan’s brother) to his father would dissolve all their reservations, but the opposite happened. It was one thing to convince Razan’s parents, but Sameer’s own father expressed his unwillingness to take matters any further. His impression of Razan’s family was that they looked down upon Sameer and had a bit of a superiority complex when it came to their culture. That fact aside, they wanted Sameer to marry a divorcee with a child of her own. The problems just didn’t seem to end.
How did Razan and Sameer drift apart?
There was a lot going on in Razan’s life apart from the Sameer situation. But no matter what she did, nothing seemed to resolve itself. Her daughter, Lamar, had started to accuse her of not letting her be with her father. She didn’t know that the man she called her father was a wife-beater. Razan had kept this a secret as she didn’t want to taint Lamar’s image of him. She saw that Lamar needed her father, and at an impressionable young age, it was just not the right time to reveal the sordid details of her marriage. All Razan wanted now was to somehow get away from it all. It seemed like returning for Eid was a mistake.
Sameer got an anonymous bribe, but he figured out it was from Razan’s mother, who thought he was only in it for the money. Sameer wasn’t too disturbed by that, but when he told Razan about Mona’s silly tactics, she got furious, mistaking his attempt at communication for complaining about what Mona did. Razan started to think that Sameer was actively looking for reasons to break up. His father had contacted Razan and given all sorts of silly reasons as to why she shouldn’t marry Sameer. All this was constantly playing in her head. In a moment of impatience, or rather, insanity, she took Sameer to get married. It was the period of Ramadan, and they couldn’t get a registrar to get them married, but eventually they found one, and Razan asked Abdul Aziz, the house driver, and Sofyan to come be witnesses to the wedding. When Sofyan declined, the marriage was called off, and Sameer too started to feel that the process was being rushed. The conversation took the shape of a battle, and both hurled all that was buried inside at each other. Sameer, seeing Abdul Aziz’s treatment by the family, really did think that the family was racist, and Razan began to think that Sameer didn’t actually love her, or else he would have been the one to propose.
How did the couple ‘Crash Eid’?
None of their fights ever got so heated that it would completely diminish their love for each other. Hasan was worried that Mona’s behavior would drive Razan away and that she would never return from England. So, he had made up his mind to give his blessing to the couple, but before he could do that, they seemed to have drifted apart. Sameer hadn’t left Jeddah, and when Hasan found that out, he was certain that he loved Razan and would keep her happy. He sensed that he was waiting for some miracle for him to get back together with Razan, and Hasan obliged. He told Razan that Sameer was still in Jeddah, and Razan was ecstatic to hear it.
One day before Eid, a party was planned where Mona invited guests, including Hayatt and her son. Mona was not a bad person, but she was under Hayatt’s thumb, it seemed. She always criticized her for having raised Razan poorly, which she claimed was why the marriage ended. Mona didn’t want Razan to marry Sameer, as she feared that Hayatt would again get a point to criticize her. But when she saw the photo of how badly Hayatt’s son had bruised Razan, she had enough. Sameer canceled his flights (he would have never left anyway) and got back together with Razan, and they planned to crash the Eid party, proclaiming their love for each other. Hayatt was livid as she thought Razan was mocking her son in public, but the family were now courageous enough to stand with the couple and not buckle under society’s pressure. Razan was sensible enough to not cut Lamar’s ties with her father, and before leaving for England, she let her see him. The family had accepted the couple, and soon they would marry, it seemed, unless Sameer’s family did something to stop the marriage.