By Sally Shakkour
Since the release of the ‘Al Rawabi School for Girls’ series on Netflix on Thursday, mixed reactions have emerged on social media igniting a massive discussion whether the series reflects the Jordanian culture or not.
Jordanians have split between supporters who defended the work that talks about major issues in the community such as bullying, teenagers’ mental health, harassment, patriarchal system beside honor crimes and opponents who denounced the lavish lifestyle of the girls in the series beside some of the bad words said in the show.
مسلسل الروابي للبنات – مسلسل اردني شيق جداً يتحدث عن التنمر في المدرسة وهي مشكلة شائعة جداً حول العالم وفي الشرق الاوسط تحديداً، لكن هذا المسلسل ايضاً تطرق ولامس لقضايا اخرى تمس كل امرأة شرقية مثلاً التحرش ، الثقافة الذكورية السائدة .— 𓆩Outsider𓆪 (@Outsider_S1) August 15, 2021
ابدعتي يا تيما الشوملي 🤍#مدرسة_الروابي pic.twitter.com/Fv8ddwJ5nV
Translation: “The Jordanian ‘Al Rawabi School for Girls’ series - a very interesting Jordanian series that talks about bullying at school, which is a very common problem around the world and in the Middle East in particular, but this series also touched other issues faced by Eastern women, such as: harassment, and the prevailing patriarchal culture.”
Al Rawabi School for Girls series which is directed by the famous Jordanian Tima Al Shomali is the second original Jordanian series on Netflix. It sheds light on bullying at schools and other issues faced by women in the country.
The director Tima Al Shomali shared several photos from the series after it was released saying that she is super proud of what she produced and of the team she worked with includingJordanian drama vetrans Nadra Omran, Reem Saadeh, Suhair Fahd, Akef Najm, Rashid Malhas, Nabil Al-Koni, Diana Rahma and may others.
However, Tima received tons of mixed comments as people were split over the controversial series. A A Facebook user commented that the series doesn’t reflect the real Jordanian community justifying his backlash adding that the Jordan Artists’ Association slammed the series due to ethical and artistic reasons.
On the other hand, another girl said all people who disliked Al Rawabi school series are males, but as girls we went to similar schools and faced such issues as those mentioned in the series; that's why we didn’t despise the series nor denied the truth in it.
Last year, another Netflix-Jordanian series, Jinn, faced such backlashes due to the sexual hints and the amount of swear words.
Jinn follows the story of a group of teenagers, who study in a private school in Amman. They go on a field trip to Petra, which is known as home to ancient demons and strange phenomena. It was directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya.
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