Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

'Ya Bint': new TV project focuses on being a young Arab female in America

The dramedy will follow three friends as they make the big move from the Middle East to Los Angeles

Dina Shihabi in a scene from 'Jack Ryan'. The actress will also have an onscreen role for 'Ya Bint'. AP Photos
Dina Shihabi in a scene from 'Jack Ryan'. The actress will also have an onscreen role for 'Ya Bint'. AP Photos

A new TV project is in the works that will tell the story of what it's like to be a young Arab female in today's America.

Written by Dina Shihabi and Rolla Selbak, the project is called Ya Bint and it's currently in development for the Disney-owned cable channel Freeform.

The dramedy will follow friends Maya, Jumana, and Lara as they make the big move from the Middle East to Los Angeles. The show will also focus on how they navigate their experiences across cultures and expectations in their new city.

Ya Bint will be directed by Moroccan-American Sanaa Hamri and co-executive produced with Selbak and Shihabi. Shihabi, a Saudi Arabian-born and Dubai-raised actress, who has had roles in Jack Ryan and Altered Carbon, will also take on a role in front of the cameras.

Not much else is known about the original series yet and there has been no announcement as to when it will be screened.

The news comes just a few days after the Emmy nominations were revealed with Egyptian-American Ramy Youssef earning a nomination for Best Actor for his lead role in Ramy.

Back in January, Youssef won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy for his role as the titular character.

“We made a very special show about an Arab Muslim family living in New Jersey and this means a lot, to be recognised on this level," he said upon accepting the award.

The groundbreaking show on Hulu tells the story of play a young man who is attempting to navigate being a modern, practising Muslim in a millennial generation while living in a politically divided New Jersey neighbourhood.

Updated: August 3, 2020 10:23 AM

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