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Series / Tomorrow's Pioneers

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Assud the Martyrdom Rabbit

Tomorrow's Pioneers (also known as The Pioneers of Tomorrow) is a Palestinian kids show made by the Hamas-owned television station Al-Aqsa TV. The show follows a standard kids show format with Saraa Barhoum as the host and a costumed animal as her co-host as they discussed life in Palestine in talk-show format and performed some skits. It was broadcast between 2007 and 2009.

The show is incredibly controversial due to the many ideas it promotes: from antisemitism, to anti-Americanism, to a rather strict form of Islam. While some of this controversy has come from what appears to be biased mistranslation by pro-Israel groups, much of the show really is that extreme. It's also launched controversy among Palestinians and pro-Palestinian groups, with the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Information having pulled it off the air before the PA lost control over Gaza (where Hamas is based), and many supporters of the Palestinian cause telling Hamas to stop producing such hateful and counterproductive garbage. It's also notorious for the various rip-offs of American cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse.


And before we go on... No, this isn't Creepypasta. Some people really will go this far (and moreso) to make their point.

This show provides examples of:

  • Anyone Can Die: A rare children's show example.
  • Artistic License – History: Tel-Aviv was founded by the Jews in 1909.note  It was never an Arab settlement known as "Tel al-Rabi".
  • Author Tract: Of course.
  • The Fundamentalist: Everyone. The show considers this a good thing.
  • Greedy Jew: To the point of killing someone.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Assoud the rabbit said that he will kill the Jews and eat them, which would really only fit the trope if Jews were rabbits. (Then again, it is a human speaking through Farfour; on the other hand, the show's creators may or may not consider Jews to be subhuman.)
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Farfour, as a means of turning children against those the host blames for his murder (read: the Israelis).
    • Assoud was killed during an Israeli attack.
    • Nahoul the bumblebee died because the Gaza strip prevented his family passage to Egypt to get an important surgery. He was replaced by Assoud, his brother... who's also a rabbit.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Mickey Mouse ripoff's name is Farfour, which comes from a diminutive of "fi'r", which means "mouse" in Arabic.
    • Nahoul is a diminutive of "nahl", "bee", and "Assoud" is a diminutive of "asad", "lion"... which is odd, considering that he's a bunny, but whatever.
  • Mock Buster: The animal characters Farfour (Mickey Mouse) and Assoud (Bugs Bunny).
  • Mocky Mouse: Farfour is rather blatantly a Mickey Mouse rip-off, to the degree that his mask makes him look like a bootleg plush of the character.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Averted. Nahoul blatantly flings cats by the tail and throws stones at lions. According to what Saara says after the segment, it was supposedly to teach young viewers that it was wrong to be cruel to animals.
  • No Sympathy: When Assoud is accused of committing a theft, the host announces he must be punished by having his hand cut off. The rabbit begs for mercy from the kids at home to help him: "God No! Please for the love of God!" Viewers that call in to talk then tell him that he deserves this because he committed a crime, much to the agonizing tears of Assoud. What. Ultimately, the host decided against cutting his hand off, though she does joke about taking one of his ears instead.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Every time an animal cohost gets killed off, a new one is brought on. Farfour the mouse, Nahoul the bee, Assoud the rabbit, and the most recent replacement is Nassour the bear.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Farfour was offered lots of money to give away the documents and keys to Tel Al-Rabi. He refused, which led to his death.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The costumed mouse is either Farfur or Farfour, depending on how you romanize the Arabic.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Nassour, the last host, was the only one not to die.
  • Wicked Cultured: Farfour once discussed with his young companions how "civilized" and "intellectual" Arab culture was. Whether or not this is true, it's hardly a legitimate justification for violence. Kind of hard to do that when you're having your hosts dressed up in bizarre costumes, swinging cats around, stoning lions and advocating for the death of Jews and Americans alike.


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