7 Ramadan series that are taking MENA by storm
The holy month of Ramadan is long-awaited by millions of Muslims in the MENA region. Beyond the religious practices, Ramadan is about being around family and giving back to the needy. Ramadan TV series have become a tradition in every Muslim household, especially while enjoying homemade desserts.
In this article I will highlight 7 Ramadan series that MENA online audiences are talking about most.
1. “Ramez 3a2lo Tar” #رامز_عقله_طار
Love him or hate him, Ramez Galal surely knows how to grab people’s attention. The pranking TV series exploded in popularity in recent years, with celebrity guests that include the likes of Haifa Wehbe and Fifi Abdou.
Ever since the release of the official trailer of this year’s edition on Ramez’s YouTube channel on April 11, the hashtag #رامز_عقله_طار received over 24.5K results in MENA, which garnered close to 900K engagements.
Keywords and hashtags around #رامز_عقله_طار show that it’s highly anticipated and entertaining.
2. 2020 #عشرين_عشرين
Arab crime and thriller series were long sidelined by other genres like comedy and drama. However, this year, with the right combination of superstar actors, great story, and eye-catching visual effects, ‘2020’ promises tremendous ratings and a lot of online buzz. With a star studded cast including Kosai Khauli, Nadine Njeim, Ramy Ayach, and Geneid Zein Aldin, ‘2020’ has received numerous positive reviews with 55.6% positive sentiment coming from females between the ages of 25-34.
It appears that the main influencers leading the conversation are the show’s stars themselves, as well as the production company and broadcaster MBC Drama.
3. “Seen” #سين
Ahmad AlShugairi makes a huge comeback with his latest series ‘Seen’ (the letter S in Arabic). After a long period of not appearing on screen, AlShugairi returns with more inspirational stories from the Arab world in an effort to highlight the diversity and beauty of this region.
The latest episode addressed Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation and technological advancement in recent years, which trended in Saudi Arabia’s Twitter. However, what’s more interesting to see is that most of the audience consists of university students who are mostly interested in social media and music, which proves that the show producers are reaching their target audience.
During the last 30 days, most conversations around #سين came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, followed by Egypt and then Jordan.
4. Al Qahera-Kabul #القاهرة_كابول
The topic of terrorism or extremism continues to cause controversy in the Middle Eastern community. “Al Qahera-Kabul” (Cairo-Kabul) is a new Egyptian TV series written by Abdel Rahim Kamal and directed by Hossam Ali.
In brief, the show addresses terrorism front and center, and how the community resists such movements, especially as it unravels terrorist plans against Egypt. I won’t spoil too much of the story, however I would say that the main personas are the media, security forces, and a terrorist.
What is considered to be a risky subject for TV networks to broadcast is being received by the audience with positive sentiment.
Sentiment analysis is a great indicator of the audience readiness and acceptability of heavy topics which could pave the way for other series.
— نبيل الحلفاوي (@nabilelhalfawy) March 17, 2021
5. Souk Al Hareer #سوق_الحرير
It won’t be a proper Ramadan TV series listicle without a Syrian drama in it. For its second season in a row, Souk Al Hareer takes the audience back to Damascus during the 1950s where it addresses a series of contemporary sociocultural and political topics, specifically highlighting the impact of modernity on society. The critically acclaimed drama series narrates the events that preceded the withdrawal of French troops from Syria, as well as the establishment of the Damascus International Fair, which is considered to be the Syrian economy’s window on the world.
Years after the Syrian drama industry had taken the backseat for its Egyptian and Pan-Arab counterparts, the director Muthana Sobh made a diligent effort to resurrect the industry with numerous actors joining him, such as Bassam Koussa.
The amount of conversation revolving around #سوق_الحرير mainly starts around the first day of Ramadan (April 12-13).
6. Qasr El Nile #قصر_النيل
Egyptian actress Dina El Sherbiny stars in “Qasr El Nile” as an aristocratic girl in the 1960s with a mysterious past and a hidden agenda. The narrative arc of the show remains a mystery up to now, however the audience has been loving the art direction and props that have been seen on screen, as well as the intro song which was performed by diva Assala Nasri.
Online celebrities like Adeela, Ahmed Magdy, and ArabwoodTV were among the top influencers who were showing their appreciation of the quality of production.
— Adeela - عديلة (@AdeelaOfficial) April 14, 2021
7. Moussa #موسى
Mohammad Ramadan is no stranger to being in the spotlight. With over 17 million Instagram followers, the star of “Moussa” amassed great public interest in the ‘saga’, which is set in WW2 Egypt.
In brief, the series follows Moussa’s ambitions of having success and wealth. However, the story takes a turn when he decides to avenge his brother’s death and therefore has to go into hiding.
The show has risen in popularity due to its ability to shed light on the underrepresented communities of Al-Saïd and their role in fighting off the British occupation at the time.
The star of the show initially tweeted the official poster of the series on March 29th which eventually became viral as per the map above.
One thing is definite, Middle Eastern audiences are becoming more sophisticated than ever, and they have been directly expressing their feedback on social media about shows they love or hate. Conversational data is a gold mine for TV producers to ensure relevancy and cultural acceptance, as well as measure the performance of these shows.