After dropping the major statement that supernatural drama Jinn, its first-ever original Arabic series, was on the way, Netflix recently rolled in some more great news. The leading streaming platform is producing its second original Middle Eastern series. What’s more, the women-created show, called AlRawabi School for Girls, has a cast and crew made up entirely of Arab women, giving females from the region a chance to showcase their talents to the world.
Expected to premiere later this year, the show touches on an important subject for today’s youth. The high school drama follows the story of a bullied girl plotting revenge on her tormentors “only to find out that no one is all bad, and no one is all good, including herself,” according to a statement by Netflix.
Jordanian producer and actress Tima Shomali is writing and directiing the show. Shomali participated in Netflix’s 2017 Ramadan She Rules campaign, which featured 30 female creators and social media influencers pushing for women’s voices on both sides of the camera.
“AlRawabi School for Girls is a very dear project to my heart. 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," Shomali, who also stars in, writes, directs and produces “FemaleShow,” said. "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 added.
IT’S OFFICIAL! I am so excited to announce our new show “ALRAWABI School for girls” A NETFLIX Original! @netflixmena #AlRawabiSFG A young Adult drama suspense. A story that is so close to my heart, told through the eyes of women about young women.. Created by: Tima Shomali & Shirin Kamal Stay tuned #AlRawabiSFG #Netflix @netflixmena كتير متحمسة للإعلان عن مسلسلنا الجديد "مدرسة الروابي للبنات" وهو مسلسل أصلي عربي من نيتفلكس القصة كتير قريبة على قلبي و كتير متحمسة عشان احكيلكم اكتر عنها، مسلسل درامي شبابي من خلال عيون نساء رح نحكي قصص فتيات من مجتمعنا. تأليف: تيما الشوملي و شيرين كمال #نيتفلكس
To make it all happen, the American streaming giant partnered up with Jordanian film and TV production company Filmizion Productions, which Shomali founded in 2012. Plus, Shomali has collaborated with writer Shirin Kamal to create the show. Kamal, a senior writer at Filmizion, has also written for “FemaleShow.” Additionally, she penned the 2015 series “Madam President,” a drama about the first president of a fictional Arabic nation.
“The Middle East has a multitude of stories and layers that other parts of the world may have not encountered, and I hope that AlRawabi School for Girls not only resonates with women in the Middle East, but women from all over the world,” the co-writer said.
Undoubtedly, the show reflects Netflix’s interest in continuing to invest in Arabic content from the Middle East and exploring more great stories and talent. The attention has provided regional filmmakers and audiences a global platform to tell and hear different unconventional stories.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Tima again to produce what 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," Simran Sethi, Director of International Originals at Netflix, said. “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.”