Must Watch: AlRawabi School for Girls

Al Rawabi School for Girls is one of Netflix Middle East’s newest hit limited series. Directed and produced by Tima Shomali, Jordanian producer, director, writer, and comedy actress, and according to Zainab Salbi, the “Tina Fey of the Arab world,” The series features young Arab women in a high school setting. Like many high schools all around the world, it comes with a social hierarchy putting Mariam (Andria Tayeh), Dina (Yara Mustafa), and newbie Noaf (Rakeen Saad) right at the bottom ultimately making them prey to the “mean girls” Layan (Noor Taher), Rania (Joanna Arida), and Roqayya (Salsa Biela). The Drama quickly grabs viewers’ attention with its relatability and mischievous twist when the bullied outcasts at the prestigious Al Rawabi School for Girls plot a series of risky takedowns to get back at their tormentors – but the ever-so engaging plot along with its relatability is not the only thing that put this series at the top of the charts around the world.

The Captivating Cast

Each and every individual cast member was relatable in one way or another. From outcast Mariam to Queen B Layan, and, of course, the undeniably lovable Miss Abeer, it is no question why viewers can’t pick a favorite! Whilst being authentic to the reality of personalities that high school hierarchies entail, we see talented performances from the main characters to the embodiment of their roles in the series, and, of course, the female majority in the casting – all factors that make Al Rawabi School for Girls a notable and honorable series.

“Taboo” Topics Uncovered

Not only was the storyline, production, and casting of the series forthrightly phenomenal but the series gracefully covered controversial topics in the region. It is very rare that we see any Arab media – and entertainment at that – cover topics of such nature. The reason behind this is that for years we have been told that covering or even discussing such topics, let alone publicly is considered ‘3aib’ عيب or shameful.

The reality of the fact is that by not discussing or acknowledging topics of such nature we are ultimately not progressing as a society overall. The topics mentioned above are unfortunate veracities in almost any and every culture across the globe and ‘Al Rawabi School for Girls’ covered each one swiftly whilst still portraying this “shameful” ideology, exhibiting that this is a major issue within our society – something the region has never seen before!

The Impact of Debunking “Taboo” Ideologies Through Television in the MENA Region

This series has been viewed by elders and youngsters, as well as males and females alike allowing Al Rawabi School for Girls to climb up the charts, not only in the Middle East and North African regions but worldwide! Debunking “taboo” ideologies through television has been prominent in today’s society, but never, up until now, have we seen it done, and done impeccably at that, in the Middle East, making it a major accomplishment.

Not only does debunking these ideologies through a form of entertainment depict the reality of many young women’s lives in the region, but it also opens the eyes to the actuality of them bringing awareness to every one of these subjects. Additionally, it opens the minds of many across the globe to two things: One, that the Middle East is not closed off to progressive ideologies, and that Middle Eastern women face similar struggles as women in the West. The only difference is, Middle Eastern women have not had the opportunity to speak on this – until now!

Being one of the firsts to delve into an industry in a region that is predominantly male and covering topics of such nature, Tima Shomali has made a massive impact not only in the entertainment of the region, but in the region as a whole. Al Rawabi School for Girls is a must-watch. Check it out on Netflix now!


Omaya Michelle

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