Don't mess with Saudi Girls: Drama gets the goat of viewers

Published August 14th, 2012 - 01:41 GMT
Saudi college girls behind the dorm doors, depicted in Ramadan soap
Saudi college girls behind the dorm doors, depicted in Ramadan soap

Even long after its Ramadan debut, the television drama “Mulhaq Banat” (Girls Dormitory) is still upsetting a large portion of Saudis. They have interpreted the TV soap as  'dissing' their women.

Many Arabians have found the series disparaging of their fiercely protected women-folk. It is taboo for much of Saudi society to even be going close to the subject of the 'harem' or sequestered female members of their family or society. Saudi's girls' schools are notoriously walled between high walls.

The drama sources its plot  from a script by Layla Abd Al Aziz Al Hilali's , and is directed by Amer Al Humood and produced by  Dubai Television. It stars the better known Gulf actresses Haifa Hussein, Najwa, Maysoon Al Rawili, Almas, Wiam Al Dahmani as well as some newcomers to the Gulf acting scene.

Critics in the conservative kingdom considered the drama a flop on many scores.  It apparently didn't come close to capturing the reality of Saudi college girls (as they are known locally)  and is a let down at approximating a decent and believable Saudi dialect.

Social media activists are baying for blood and campaigning for a lawsuit against the makers. They feel it is a slight to their women, and thereby to the whole Kingdom, and the show's airing has got Arab blood boiling from Jeddeh to Haffuf.

One particular scene raised a fuss when a covered girl sings in her dorm while her classmates dance freely to her rendition. This scene was highlighted as tipping the scale for Saudi censors who found the whole premise inappropriate and the scene uncalled for. 

Saudis Twitterati say that the makers of the drama failed to portray the reality of college life in Saudi Arabia for women, calling into questoin the clothes worn on the show. They point out that  girls in Saudi Arabia do not wear tight pants and short skirts out (much less to school). These unimpressed Saudi Tweet mobs make a final decisive statement of distancing from the drama "This series does not represent Saudi females in any way."


What do you think? Have you watched College Girls, and do you think it takes too many liberties with the reality of college girls in Saudi?


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