Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja brings 'Ambitious Saudi' stories to the small screen

Published September 20th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Emirati filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja. (Nayla Al Khaja)
Emirati filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja. (Nayla Al Khaja)

Throughout September, Pan Arab channel Quest Arabiya will air some of the best stories about the Kingdom, including its original production of short films: HAKAWI: Ambitious Saudi.

The series directed by Emirati filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja, will shine a spotlight on regional talent, reflecting the passions and interest of the next generation of youth from the Kingdom as they tackle adrenalin-fuelled activities and take on unconventional occupations.  

One of the six profiles is Raha Moharrak, the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest, who provides gripping personal tales as well as what she hopes for her country’s future leading up to its National Day.

She said: “As a proud Saudi woman, I know there are still more barriers we need to break down. However, with the new vision outlined for my country, I feel this national day there will be a renewed sense of pride and hope for the next generation of youth, especially young women, who will help overturn misconceptions and find their own mountains to climb.” 

Saudi Arabian climber Raha Moharrak on Mount Everest on 18 May 2013. (AFP)

Ahmed Makki, a renowned MMA Fighter, is also featured, he added: “It’s very important to celebrate National Day, it brings us together, and shows the strong support we have for our country and each other. I’d like to hope that this year, the sense of support, pride and enthusiasm we share will extend beyond the day, and reach all the talented people of KSA that are changing our path.”

Ahmad Makki is a Saudi Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and co-founder of Spider Team in Jeddah. (Arabs MMA)

The five part series will also feature Industrial Furniture Designers & Founders of luxe brand, Oil Barrel, Mohammed Awlia and Omar Naseef, Illusionist and recipient of the International Magicians Society Best illusionist Middle East, Mumdo Marzouki and Rawan Amoudi, an emerging women’s Basketball Player from Jeddah United team, with each talking about how they’ve found success in their different fields and what being a Saudi national means to them.    

Nayla Al Kaja, the Emirati director of the HAKAWI: Ambitious Saudi series, who is a pioneer herself, said “It has been incredible working on this project with Quest Arabiya and I have loved uncovering these fantastic stories. I think viewers from across the gulf will be inspired by these wonderful people who not only represent Saudi, but our entire region.”

The free-to-air channel adds the HAKAWI: Ambitious Saudi series to a strong line-up of regional content for its Nathra Ala Al Saudiya, Arabic for “A Look into Saudi”, themed month that takes viewers on a journey to discover a new side to the Kingdom.  

Khalid Khouri, Deputy General Manager of Quest Arabiya, said: “We’ve dedicated a whole month to celebrate KSA, with a themed line-up that offers world-class quality programming and a unique insight into the KSA nationals who are making huge impact in the world in their respective fields.  

“From the everyday heroes who are servicing the community, to Raha Moharrak, who is conquering enormous heights – metaphorically and physically – as the youngest Arab Woman and first Saudi national to climb Mt. Everest.

“These stories reflect the lives, interests, patriotism and pride of the KSA people and we believe they will prove to be engaging and informative for our Pan-Arab audience across the region.” 

In addition to the KSA programming line-up, Quest Arabiya will continue to air its usual programs with a strong September line-up that cover the following genres: Extreme Outdoor, Turbo, Engineering, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Space and People & Places.

By Vibhuti Arora

 

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