President Donald Trump‘s Muslim Ban is now in effect and the entire country’s hearts are breaking over it.
It hits even further home when you watch Degrassi: Next Class and see the two Syrian refugee characters on there and what it possibly could be like for real refugees.
“I’m hoping that it’s going to put a human face on young Muslim people, because I think the rhetoric these days can be so painful and stereotypical,” showrunner Linda Schuyler shares in a new interview. “We’re trying to break down the stereotypes and encourage people to accept others; you don’t have to like every person, but please take the chance to get to know them.”
She adds, “These are living, breathing, beautiful human beings who just need an opportunity to be heard instead of judged for where they come from. I love having the opportunity to tell these kinds of stories, and that’s what has kept me going for so long with Degrassi.”
Click inside to see what Linda shares about the two characters, Rasha and Saad…
Speaking about Rasha and Saad, Linda opens up about their two very different storylines.
“It was really important for us to show different shades of what it might be like for somebody coming from Syria. With the Rasha character, we have somebody who came from a very liberal middle class background and didn’t even wear a hijab when she was in Syria?—?she said she was only forced to wear it once ISIS started getting a hold,” she says. “But her family was liberal, she talks about wearing bikinis on the beach, and she’s a city girl, so she brings that with her.”
Meanwhile, “Saad, he’s seen the ravages of war, which we know from the photos on his phone. He has siblings who he’s often the caregiver to because both his parents are working minimum wage jobs, and he’s not adjusting as well as Rasha is. We just thought it was very interesting to show these two different perspectives.”
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