ARAB RISING TALENTS :
The new names under our microscope
Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek made history last year when he won awards for his outstanding portrayal of rock icon Freddie Mercury in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. 2019 also saw the rise of Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud into stardom after his interpretation of Aladdin. With more talents erupting from the region every year, we reviewed a few that will definitely make it into our trending headlines by next year.
Us women, we love ladies’ night, be it in front of TV, with the enhanced experience offered by Netflix and its infinite choices… And Saudi actress Ahd Kamel is sure on our list. Known for her role in the film Wadjda, Kamel is definitely on the rise. With her recent role in the series ‘Collateral’ last year, she was the first Saudi actress to land a major role in a Netflix series.
The 27-year-old Franco-Algerian actor was originally discovered for his performance in The Blaze’s video for ‘Territory’, Film Craft Grand Prix at Cannes, and he is now one of the new faces of the next James Bond movie, alongside Rami Malek and Léa Seydoux.
Mexican-Lebanese actress EmeraudeToubia, is known for playing Isabelle Lightwood, a Shadowhunter-human-angel, but she isn’t an overnight sensation, as she began her career in Univision’s “Nuestra Belleza Latina”, and worked her way up the ladder. Before finding her way to acting, she won several beauty contests.
You might recognize her from a video that went viral last year: On the same day her country lifted its ban on women driving, the Saudi female rapper dropped a music video celebrating life in the driver’s seat. The video, titled We Are Driving, shows her behind the wheel, proudly stating she now has “no need for taxis”. The video is just one of her songs, as the rapper dropped several, with lyrics mostly about the daily life as a Saudi woman. Her fanbase has been growing beyond borders.
She has been called the Queen of Arab Hip Hop. The young Lebanese woman has been a rapper for about 15 years, however, her releases have been quite sparse. Today, in a music genre that is dominated by males, she strikes as one of the female Arab rappers whose voice is heard loud and clear, aiming to empower women. Last month, she dropped her latest track, ‘3am 7arib’ (‘I am Fighting’) to commemorate the on-going Lebanese revolution.
In just one year, The Dutch-Tunisian actor has gone from being a rather unknown actor to being named “hot Jafar sensation on the Net, due to his interpretation of Disney’s Jafar in Aladdin.
When Netflix released their first Middle Eastern series in Arabic, “Jinn”, Young Jordanian actress Salma Malhas became a sensation overnight, as well as an inspiration for her generation, despite the controversy around certain subjects tackled in the show. Another one to watch.
ZAIN AL RAFEEA
We all recognize the little boy from Nadine Labaki’s ‘Capernaum’, who went from being a refugee to being a rising star in Hollywood. Found in the streets by the Lebanese movie-maker, Al Rafeea is now taking his career to a new level, as he’s said to be cast for a role alongside superstars in the movie The Eternals.