Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – Netflix announced this weekend the production of its second Arab original series. “Al Rawabi School for Girls” will be a high school drama set in Jordan. The team and the cast will be made up entirely by Arab women, and the series was created by Tima Shomali (writer and director) and Shirin Kamal (writer) from Jordan. In the picture above, Kamal is on the left, and Shomali on the right.
“Al Rawabi School for Girls” is the story of how a tormented girl gets revenge on her bullies, only to find out that no one is entirely bad, and no one is entirely good, not even herself.
“[It] is essentially the first Middle Eastern young adult series that celebrates the role of women, not only on screen, but behind the scenes as well,” expressed Netflix director of international originals Simran Sethi in a press release. “The story brings a fresh perspective to Middle Eastern content, and we are absolutely excited to share Al Rawabi School for Girls with our global audiences in over 190 countries,” he said;
The second Netflix original in the region is seen as a pledge to invest in the Middle East and explore more great stories and talent, along with offering Middle Eastern filmmakers and audiences a global platform to share and hear different stories outside the mainstream.
For the series creator Tima Shomali, this is a very dear project. “It depicts the stories and struggles of young Arab women in a light that we hadn’t yet seen before in the region, particularly with this age group. It’s a show that stems from the eyes of women about women and I am really pleased to collaborate with Netflix and have the opportunity to tell the stories of young women in our region on such a global platform,” she said in the release.
The writer Shirin Kamal added that the Middle East has a multitude of stories and layers that other parts of the world may have not encountered. “I hope that ‘Al Rawabi School for Girls’ not only resonates with women in the Middle East, but women from all over the world,” she wished.
Tima Shomali was also part of Netflix’s 2017 campaign “She Rules” during Ramadan together with 30 other female content creators and social media influencers aimed to celebrate female protagonism inside and outside the screen.
“Al Rawabi School for Girls” will be an association between Netflix with the Jordanian production company Filmizion and will be launched later this year. The first Netflix Arab original is “Jinn,” which was also produced and filmed in Jordan and will be launched later this year.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda