With All Eyes on AlRawabi: 5 Other Female-Led Arab Shows on Netflix

The diverse narratives of Arab Women through film and TV.

With All Eyes on AlRawabi: 5 Other Female-Led Arab Shows on Netflix
Mariana Baião Santos

In the landscape of streaming entertainment, a cultural renaissance is unfolding, spotlighting the narratives of Arab women across the MENA region. Leading this charge is AlRawabi School for Girls, (Instagram) a Jordanian series crafted by the visionary Tima Shomali. Since its Netflix debut in August 2021, AlRawabi has emerged as a testament to the multifaceted experiences of Arab women, delicately exploring the nuances of adolescence, societal norms, and the harsh realities of school dynamics.

As AlRawabi continues to enthral audiences and as anticipation mounts with rumours about a third season, it serves as a poignant reminder of the demand for authentic portrayals of Arab femininity. In an industry yearning for diversity and representation, the success of this MENA gem signals a transformative shift towards greater visibility and empowerment for Arab women in storytelling.

While viewers eagerly anticipate the unfolding narrative of AlRawabi, let’s dive into the current cinematic array of options, uncovering five other remarkable Netflix shows that resonate with the celebration of Arab womanhood. From tales of resilience to explorations of identity and empowerment, these series offer a rich tapestry of experiences, reflecting the lives of Arab women in the contemporary age.


Kamla (2022)

“Kamla” weaves a narrative of love, empowerment, and societal scrutiny. At its heart is Kamla, a dedicated psychiatrist navigating the complexities of her professional world while defying societal expectations as an unmarried woman in her forties. As she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, Kamla finds unexpected solace in the arms of Youssif, a charismatic writer advocating for love and women’s rights. However, her empathetic connection with a vulnerable patient, Asmaa, blurs the lines between duty and desire, setting the stage for a gripping exploration of resilience and defiance in the face of tradition. Through Kamla’s story, the show offers a poignant reflection on the enduring spirit of womanhood and the power of love to transcend societal constraints.

Finding Ola

Finding Ola (2022)

“Finding Ola”, an Egyptian dramedy, unveils a story of self-discovery and resilience, starring the incomparable Hend Sabry. Following a life-altering event, Ola Abd ElSabour, a devoted mother and pharmacist, navigates the tumultuous waters of a new reality with unwavering determination. As she grapples with the aftermath of a divorce and societal expectations, Ola embarks on a courageous journey to reinvent herself, balancing her responsibilities with her quest for personal fulfillment. In a society where divorce can be misconstrued as a woman’s failure, Ola defies stereotypes and societal pressures, daring to reclaim her identity and shape her own destiny. Through laughter and tears, “Finding Ola” offers a poignant reflection on the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of self-love in the face of adversity.

 The Exchange

The Exchange (2023)

Set against the backdrop of Kuwait in 1987, “The Exchange” offers a gripping portrayal of two trailblazing women navigating the male-dominated realm of the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Inspired by true events, the series follows Farida and Munira, played by Rawan Mahdi and Mona Hussain, as they defy societal norms to become the first successful female traders in Kuwait’s financial industry. Amidst workplace sexism and patriarchal customs, Farida and Munira embark on a journey of ambition and resilience, determined to prove themselves in a world dominated by men. As they confront external challenges and personal struggles, their story serves as a poignant tribute to the courage and tenacity of women who dare to break barriers and claim their place in history.


2020 (2021)
2020 (2021)

“2020,” a Lebanese series focusing on narratives of revenge, love, and duty amidst a backdrop of turmoil and uncertainty. As a woman sets out on a quest for vengeance in the wake of her brother’s death, her journey takes an unexpected turn when she finds herself ensnared in the complexities of love in a remote village. Simultaneously, an investigator dives deep undercover in pursuit of a notorious drug lord, only to find her mission complicated by the emergence of unwanted emotions. Amidst these intricate threads of fate, army captain Sama emerges as a beacon of justice, relentlessly pursuing the elusive gangster Safi and striving to bring him to account for his clandestine crimes. Directed with precision and depth, “2020” offers a gripping exploration of the human psyche from the point of view of a woman, where personal vendettas collide with the nuances of love and duty, against the backdrop of Lebanon’s rugged landscapes and bustling cities, inviting viewers on a thrilling tale of suspense, intrigue, and the enduring resilience of the human spirit.

I Have a Script

I have a script (2019)
I Have a Script (2019)

From Kuwait, director Mounir Al Zaabi presents ‘I Have a Script,’ a tale of loss, resilience, and creative rejuvenation. Following the death of a loved one, the protagonist finds solace in writing television scripts, navigating grief through the transformative power of storytelling. Through nuanced storytelling, the series explores the profound healing potential of artistic expression, offering viewers a glimpse into the resilience of the human spirit amidst life’s most challenging moments, through the lens of a woman in a judgmental society.

For more stories of arts and culture, visit our dedicated archives and in the meantime, if you’re done with AlRawabi, why not check out these shows?