Ask Shaden & Titi

Reflections from the Turkish series Ask-i Memnu- عن العشق الممنوع

Posted in Emotions, Men, Relationships by Shaden and Titi on October 8, 2010

Lately I have been following this Turkish series called Aski-Memnu (العشق الممنوع), and this could be the first Turkish series that I follow attentively. To be honest I don’t really watch television that much, but this series in particular got my attention in a rather surprising way.
Ask-I Memnu is simply about a girl named Samar, a beautiful girl in her twenties, who gets married to Adnan bay, a wealthy widower in his fifties whose wife died and who has 2 kids, a little boy and a teenage girl. On getting married to Adnan, Samar is introduced to Adnan’s two children Nihal and Murad, and to his nephew, Mohannad, who is also in his twenties, and whom Adnan vowed to take care of after the death of his both parents.

Now as soon as Samar enters the house of Adnan bay as his wife, family members observe her as the intruder, and while she tries to show love and affection for the children and impose some kind of control over the household, Samar’s life gets more complicated, and more depressing, with her mother trying to take advantage of this marriage to benefit of her son in law’s money.
There always has to be some kind of savior of these kind of situation, and who would be better than Mohannad, Adnan’s nephew, a handsome guy, who enjoys his uncle’s wealth and replaces his women in his life as fast as he replaces cars. Despite Mohannad’s hostility to Samar at the beginning, and his continuous warnings to his uncle about the greed of his wife and her mother Fayrouz, he is later proven mistaken. As soon as Muhannad figures Samar’s good intentions and her eagerness to care of the all the family members, he begins to feel differently about her.
Mohannad starts to think deeply about Samar, whom after a while starts to exchange same sensations, which ignites a relation that takes them both to the ecstatic world of sensual love. A relation that excites them both at the very beginning, but are rather threatened by being discovered and exposed, with both being secretly in love and engaging themselves in a forbidden affair.
With things getting complicated, and both trying to find a solution for their affair, Mohannad finally decides to get engaged to his cousin Nihal, which saddens Samar who decided to end her life after Adnan was told about her affair with Mohannad. After that Mohannad leaves the house for good, feeling sad about Samar’s death and rather ashamed about his deception to his uncle.

Shaden and I talked about the series the other day, and we reached the same conclusions about it. We tend to think that this series is highly realistic. Despite being tragic but most of what happened or have been said is true, and regardless of any slight dramatic additions or treatments on the original script, this story resembles our life to a great extent.

It was amazing to see how complicated and inexplicable our feelings as humans can be, and our huge fault in judging others. How great love is, and its fallacy in making some feel less selfish and self-centered. How lost we can be in the delusions of love and how afraid of society’s reaction we can be.

Without having to talk about Samar’s life before her marriage to Adnan, and since our blog concerns love and relation issues mainly, we thought we could narrow the discussion to the point where the idea of love is not exactly as people can imagine.

Samar tried to start a new life with her getting married to Adnan, by recovering the lost love of a father somehow, given that her father died from a heart attack, on fighting with his mother who cheated on him constantly, which led to Samar hating her mother for what happened to her father. Regardless of the money issue which caused a lot of damage in the marriage stability of Samar and her sister’s life.

After getting married, on being faced with much hostility by the family, and pressured by her mother’s greed, Samar’s need for love and affection grew humongously, to finally find it in the arms of Mohannad, which was met with much resistance at the beginning being forbidden, but which she surrendered to, and no one would say no to. What got us in this whole relation is Mohannad’s manner in dealing with his love for Samar.
It was Mohannad who first approached Samar, he was the one who imposed himself on her, he and his physical charm, which she wasn’t able to refuse. Despite Samar’s deep love for him, and suggesting to run away to gather to end their agony to live in secret, he refused 3 times, and chickened out in each time they tried.

He would ask her to stay away from him, only to fight with her if he knew she got closer to her husband, and when it was too unbearable for him, he got engaged to his cousin, which only caused Samar to be more tortured. In the end, and after Samar’s suicide, it becomes rather clear that he was more concerned about him being ashamed with himself and him deceiving his uncle, much more than feeling sad over Samar’s death.

Shaden and I shared the following thoughts of the issue.

Shaden: we weren’t surprised that muhannad didn’t like it when samar told him she wants to get a divorce from her uncle to be with him.

Titi: why didnt he like it ?

Shaden: because that’s not what he wanted. he didn’t think of marriage or “until death do us part”. He was acting on his basic instincts without trying to understand them. He wanted sex, and did what he needed to get that. He loved her but never thought about marrying her, and the last thing he wanted is for his uncle to find out about their little love affair. It wasn’t worth getting in trouble with his uncle, who raised him up and took care of him, at the same time, he couldn’t stop himself.

Titi: exactly….Let me ask you something, since we dont want to judge anyone. He loved her, but wouldn’t you say that he was afraid of the social pressure, which discourage him for running away from her?

Shaden: yea, hmmm. Look, no one wants to be an outcast, but no one should give himself the right to make the other loves him/her and keep lying about where they think it’s going.He wasn’t honest about his intentions, he didn’t like that she wanted to get a divorce, he didn’t like that she wanted to tell his uncle. He never told her the whole truth, which was that he never intended to be with her, as in a relationship or marriage, and that although he’s the one who slept with her, he actually thinks she’s a “slut”, and would never marry someone like her, which is of course a contradiction to his obvious strong feelings of love and attraction. When she died, he felt sorry for her. that’s all he felt. not love, not loss of a soul mate, just sorrow, for a girl who died because of his selfishness.

Titi: he never let her feel she is a slut

Shaden: he told her that Nihal is better than her,because he was Nihal’s first love

Titi: maybe in a moment of anger

Shaden: nope, whatever it really doesn’t matter whether being in anger or calm, you wouldn’t forgive such a comment

Titi: you wouldnt

Shaden: he told her he’s going to marry Nihal because he can’t break her heart, Nihal’s heart,that Nihal would die if he left her all implying that Samar is used to this sort of shit

Titi: but…wait a minute, wouldnt u say that he already thought that she can get om with her life anyway, since she is married to his uncle, regardless. I am not defending him…But this is how I thought of it the borders of this relation are suffocating both

Shaden: no, he knew about those borders, but he made a concious decision to eleminate them when and if he felt like it. He had no integrity, he would say something then do the opposite. she was just as bad, always reacting to him, and to those around her

Titi: but you cant blame her

Shaden: her mom, her husband, the kids, the maids, the nanny

Titi: because she was her mom’s victim,yes, so she needed love and affection and Mohannad came just in time to rescue her.

Shaden: I don’t see how he gave her love or affection, all i remember is her telling him that he keeps running away from her, which implies abandonment, the opposite of love and affection, and those were her words that he leaved her when he pleased and came back when he pleased also.

We believe that after all this time, people are still the same, they haven’t changed not one bit, share us your thoughts and tell us what you think.

This story was based on a novel that was written in 1900, for a Turkish naturalist writer,

17 Responses

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  1. Salim said, on October 9, 2010 at 12:23 am

    yaaay you are back 🙂

    she is a player as much as muhanad. she’s married to the uncle,stay faithful,don’t call your lust,affair,unfaithfulness,don’t call it love,an ugly excuse.

    it is 3:20am,i will come back later

    please do local stuff,where to take her on a first date,buy her flowers? how long before saying the L word,when to introduce to family,where second date?what topics?
    where to meet jordanian girls,how to approach and get her number,when to call,what to say when you call

    🙂 asking too much? you can do it

  2. lynn said, on October 10, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Quite impressing .. im not into turkish drama but this one is way too different..
    Yestrday i watched the last episode when bihter shoots her self , a very talented actress, very unexpected ending 🙂

  3. Haitham Al-Sheeshany said, on October 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Well, I wanted to put a “lame” comment saying: (mohannad is not in his 20`s) 😀

    but I refrained. “did I!” 🙂

    In short, thank God we r a TVless house 🙂
    I hope u were being sarcastic when u said the settings of the story is so real and all around us, is it? 😦


    • TitiandShad said, on October 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Hello Haitham

      No actually we were serious about it, we thought the whole context fitted with what is going on nowadays concerning relationships.

      We mentioned at the very bottom of the article that the novel was written back in 1900, and the text was treated in the form of a TV series, we were amazed by the fact that people don’t really change, at least in matters concerning relations, and that was one thing that got us. No matter how much we were trying to introduce change….there are things that are just the same way they do.

      Concerning the relation itself, we were trying to share our thoughts with our dear readers like yourself, to how much the plot resembles the same exact events that a Jordanian girl or guy can face, which is why we made a small review for the series and had that little conversation. we aren’t merely Turkish series lovers, I hope that’s not what you thought us to be :), to put is simply, it ‘s a good series that tackles many social matters, unlike most series.

  4. Haitham Al-Sheeshany said, on October 11, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Thx 4 the reply.
    What I meant was I “hope” it`s not ===> “this story resembles our life to a great extent”!

    And I agree with u that it tackles some good aspects, but then again; at what cost? Know what I mean…


  5. Salim said, on October 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    “to how much the plot resembles the same exact events that a Jordanian girl or guy can face,”

    1.A man who cheats on his 30 or 40 something wife is being labeled as unfaithful,a jerk,a monster,player.scum…..they grow apart,his wife is distant,does not care about her looks or her relation with the man. The guy marries a second,third,four wife to avoid religious or social taboos

    2.Same scenario as above, for a bored wife,who is not loved any more,and feals the eagerness to play around, she calls it love,society calls it unfaithfulness and infidelity,she thinks society is judgmental and everyone is free to do what they want,love beats all taboos and so on

    What scenario? If you end up marrying your cousin for the sake of just getting married,yes you might face such scenario,but you are expected to stay faithful,as not to destroy your family or be used by the one claiming to be your lover,who’s interested in only sex or money or whatever

    It is very simple,marry someone you love and stay faithful,down the road,don’t cheat even if your grow apart,because it’s shameful. Try to work it out or end it (get divorced) don’t use “LOVE” as an excuse for your affairs

    • Shaden and Titi said, on October 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

      Salim 🙂

      Which is why we stress on the fact that no one should judge the other…from our point of view…..

      More will be coming about Jordanian based – stories…soon 🙂

  6. Haitham Al-Sheeshany said, on October 12, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Liked what Salem had to offer us 🙂


  7. Salim said, on October 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    hi 🙂

    plz no stories,but more like tips,advice,etc

    don’t hold her hand unless it’s the 100th date or you don’t mind being smacked

  8. Salim said, on November 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    what happened?
    I gave up on dating a Jordanian girl

    Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy in the brain 🙂

  9. Zahra said, on December 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Dear all,

    Everyone said what he/she feels! You are all right!

    We are all human beings and we can make mistakes. But really, some mistakes cannot be made by human beings. Muhanad and Samar were both unfaithful.
    They did not have to look to each others eyes even.
    They committed both of them a real abomination. She refused to listen to her mother when she prevented her to marry Adnan because her mother too lived the same story: to get maried to a old wealthy man in order to get secured in term of money and social class. And she told her that she will regret it. Samar did not listen and did what she wanted to. She blamed her mother about her love story with the other man but she did not understand why her mother betrayed her father.
    Fayrouz told to Samar that: You are not the daughter of your father. You are my daughter! when she put her in front of the mirror, when she started her secret eye look with Muhanat.
    The result, according to me is:marriage is not a game!
    We should get married to the right person so that we will not regret it later or fall in confusions an starting committing wrong things.
    And to our young sisters, do not get marry to an old man because you will discover that you are wrong and you need a young man near you. Money comes and goes. But to live a love story, you must be in the same age scale. You must be with the right person.

    • Shaden and Titi said, on January 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Dear Zahra Thank you so much for commenting, we appreciate your view of course, it is highly apprecited :).

      We on the other hand like to stress on the fact that even in the most complicated situation we still need to think before judging anyone. People should certainly stick to certain standards when dealing with life. but then again, human being do act to certain belief that relates to them….:)

  10. nora said, on January 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Hi! I discovered this tv drama thanks to my mum… She follows it in arabic on MBC channel and I became crazy about it… bad bad bad… I love it so much!!! Shame no happy ending but I guess this is the reason why everyone is so fond of it! To my opinion, Behlul (Mohannad) REALLY loved Samar, he was so selfish but it is so obvious that he really loved her! Shame they are not a real couple in reality, they would have been a glamourous and wonderful couple!!!

    • Shaden and Titi said, on January 11, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Hello Nora

      Yes Me and Shaden love this show also, and we totally agree with you…he loved her but he was selfish also, and this is what we are trying to say here, no love story can ever present itself to be perfect and shiny, there are always some complications that we as well thought it may in some way apply to our life.

      Thank you for commenting 🙂

  11. nina said, on February 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    dear readers,

    i just want to add some of my views on this subject. I’ve been watching the series lately, and consider it one of the most realistic shows ever.

    I believe Muhannad and Samar both didn’t mean to betray their family. They both knew from the beginning that it was wrong and tried to avoid it, but there was something stronger, be it love or something else, which is normal for two attractive young people living together in the same house. They were interacting on a daily basis, and the feelings for each other will obviously grow. Also their characters helped a lot in attracting each other.

    Muhannad clearly had issues. Other than being selfish and egotistic, like any player guy he liked challenges, and knowing that Samar was already the wife of his uncle made her hard to get, which caught his attention more.

    In Samar’s case, she was an extremist. she loved till the end, hated till the end, married a guy way older than her.. she never forgives nor forgets, even killed herself, which is not an easy job. She liked to live on the edge.

    That was the perfect recipe for their love.

    In their defense, I want to say that sometimes people are put in situations where they do something they normally do not support and know is wrong, but somehow tend to go through with it because there is some kind of a small reward from it or it makes them feel good even if it is only temporary. I am not encouraging infidelity or betrayal, personally i am against it, just saying that sometimes things happen for no logical reason even if we were the most perfect people, and nobody can judge anyone if they haven’t been in the same situation because a lot of things change at that point.

    This is life, we all want to be perfect people and set examples for others with our principles and beliefs, but many things get in the way. Excellent show.

    • Shaden and Titi said, on February 10, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Nina…. That’s an excellent analysis, and it is exactly what we had in mind :), thank you so much.

  12. Haitham Al-Sheeshany said, on June 19, 2011 at 8:18 am

    hello there 🙂
    no more posts 😦

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