Last week on Shahs of Sunset, the Israeli experience was all about getting drunk and partying. This week? It’s time for the Shahs to get spiritual. And by spiritual, I mean fight nonstop with each other about religion. How enlightening!
It’s 9 AM – do you know where your MJ is? It’s no surprise that after a night of heavy drinking and trashing her hotel room, Mercedes “MJ” Javid and her dirty feet still aren’t up for the morning. The rest of the gang is getting ready and eating breakfast but no MJ to be found. Worried that maybe she has suffocated under her own boobs, Reza Farahan FaceTimes her and immediately wishes he hadn’t. MJ likes to claim she’s always fresh as a daisy after a night of drinking but time (and alcohol) has not been kind to her. She’s looking more weed wacked than freshly bloomed.
Mike Shouhed has arranged for everyone on the trip to get to pick out what they would like to do on a certain day and today is all about the spiritual quest of Asa Soltan Rahmati and her unborn baby. That’s right, her baby is on this trip too and don’t you forget it for a second.
Asa is taking this gang of morally devoid hooligans to a city called Akko, which is known for people of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish faith all living together peacefully. Asa doesn’t just want to go there, oh no, she wants to do an art project about it FOR HER BABY. Sigh, can’t she just stick to some Elmer’s glue and macaroni for her art projects? No, she cannot because one day, she wants to show her 100% organic cotton-clad baby that people can coexist peacefully in this world. OK, fine but I hope she doesn’t plan on ever showing her baby old episodes of Shahs of Sunset.
Once they arrive in Akko, Asa heads off to meet with three spiritual leaders who are being paid to put up with her saying things lie “come on, are we all so different!?” as she gazes around the city during their tour. She begins to interview them to discuss how they get along with each other and they have some pretty profound things to say about religion, humanity, and love. But Shahs aren’t that profound so elsewhere in the city, we join Reza throwing pieces of food at stray cats hanging out in dumpsters.
The rest of the Shahs were also given cameras for Asa’s project and asked to take to the streets of Akko to interview the townspeople about…..ummmm we don’t know. Because all the Shahs do is blurt out “Muslim or Jewish?” anytime they see someone, playing the most culturally insensitive guessing game possible. Not to mention the fact that they are also in an exclusively Muslim sector of the city. So as you can imagine, it’s going great and by great, I mean awful. No one wants to be filmed and they are getting dirty looks left and right. I would imagine the Shahs are used to this back home in L.A. but apparently, Mike is freaking out. According to Mike, all it takes is one guy to call another guy, who calls another guy and then there is a sniper on the roof taking them out. Well, that escalated quickly in his brain. I thought it was just a few days ago when he was busy convincing everyone to come on the trip because Israel is such a safe and loving place?
Ominous music plays and Mike says they need to move on before the sun goes down. Reza is disappointed because he was expecting to see all kinds of people living together in harmony, sitting in circles, strumming the guitar together, and singing about love. But I guess that only happens in Asa’s world because that’s exactly what she’s doing with the spiritual leaders while the rest of the gang dodges feral street cats and imaginary roof snipers.
As Asa twirls around in her kaftan to the music and singing, she reminds us that she is an artist, who is having a biracial baby and this is what she is all about. I’m not sure what “this” is but when she reunites with the group, she wastes no time telling them how earth moving and life changing her jam session was. No time to hear your arty-fartsy shit, Asa – Reza is on a downward spiral and sweating profusely. He loves the street cats more than he loves people and Asa tries to talk him off his ledge of Muslim disconnect. “Just open your mind”, she urges, as if she has just solved world peace single handedly. Well, with her baby, of course.
Back on the bus, Mike is also freaking out about the fact that no one else was paying attention to what was going on around them. Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi thinks he’s being a tad overdramatic, saying anything outside of his nice little Jewish bubble scares him. Mike maintains that he loves everyone, except for all the people he hates.
Later that night, the gang heads over to Mike’s family dinner, hoping to wash off the nerves of the day at Shabbat. Mike hasn’t seen his family in over ten years, but you would never know since they all greet him so warmly and lovingly. They hug and kiss and tell him his beard makes him look like a hipster. Shabbat starts and Reza feels like he is finally being accepted into the Jewish part of his family but through Mike’s family accepting the Jewish part of him. He even gives an impassioned toast about how he is getting the true Israeli experience with them. GG can’t help but guzzle her wine and roll her eyes, annoyed that Reza just threw a peace party but is now shunning his Muslim side.
The next morning, a pregnant Asa is feeling sick. She read somewhere that a pregnant woman lying down is doing more work than someone who is running a marathon. OK, I have to interject because I have done both and I can assure you, running a marathon is way harder than lying down while pregnant. But I can say with certainty that a pregnant Asa is way more annoying than a regular Asa. Also speaking from experience here.
GG is still annoyed about Reza’s new love for his Jewish side and complains to Destiney Rose and Shervin Roohparvar. When Reza walks in mid-bitchfest, GG tells him her feelings. Reza fires back that she can’t even begin to understand his experience as a gay Persian man. GG is all, “yeah, yeah but it is what it is and you have to enjoy the good parts,” whatever that means.
Honestly, can the Shahs make up their mind? Are they going to be open-minded or not? We have Mike talking about how loving Israel is, then running for cover in the streets out of fear, then we have Reza holding peace parties, only to talk about how much he hates the Muslims who shun him for being gay. Now GG is about to hit the Wall after scolding everyone to take the good parts but immediately talk about tearing it down because it’s like a barrier to her own religion. Sigh, I can’t even keep up. Either way, Reza promises to make an effort to not slam Islam while they are in Israel so that settles that. And as if on cue, MJ struts in, dressed in skin tight denim on denim, which is just the outfit for a spiritual pilgrimage to the Wall.
Before they head out, Mike brought them all journals so they could write down their wish and leave it at the wall for it to come true. MJ writes a rambling book and when asked to share with the group, we realize that if she’s going to leave that at the Wall, she’s doomed. She blabbers on about starting a passion project, leaving behind a legacy and then some more unintelligible musings….the musings of a crazy woman. It was like going on a tour inside of her head and let me tell you, I got lost at the first turn. So did everyone else because Reza emotionally tells her to maybe hone it in on something more specific and that her legacy could be getting married and having kids.
They arrive at the Wall in Jerusalem and it’s breathtaking. Reza enlightens everyone as the drive through the streets that “Jesus walked these streets, chilling with his friends” and I can feel the magic of the moment already slipping away. Once at the Wall, the women cleanse their hands and are told to cover up their cleavage. GG is already annoyed that there is a men’s section of the Wall and a women’s section and refuses to pray, saying it’s “just a Wall.” Mike prays to the Wall with clarity, hoping to find the next Mrs. Shouhed, hopefully one he won’t cheat on this time.
Let’s see if next week remains as spiritually enlightened as this one.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE SHAHS’ TRIP SO FAR?
Photo Credit: Bravo