“I am Ola Abdel-Sabour… I want to get married… and my story is still not finished.”
Do you remember Ola? The cartoon character that appeared on the screens of Ramadan about 10 years ago. Her main complex is that she is in her thirties and has not yet married! This created many situations between her and her family and friends at work, and among the young men she meets in the various episodes. Thirty episodes, during which we experienced Ola’s life, and her fate, which we did not know even at the end of the last episode.
Today, after ten years, Ola returns with new challenges, a different life, and a character that we do not know if she will continue with her cartoon, or if she has become more mature and closer to reality. All this we will see in the new series “Searching for Ola”, which will be shown soon on the Netflix platform, and consists of 6 episodes, in which the able actress Hend Sabry plays the role of Ola (of course), but this time she also appears as an executive producer for the work, which is the first time that she is involved in Where Hend Sabri this experience.
On CNN Arabic, I had the pleasure of meeting Hind and talking to her about this experience, about Ola’s return after ten years, and what this step means for Arab women’s empowerment projects in general.
At first, Hind Sabri confirms that “Searching for Ola” is not a second part of the series “I Want to Get Married”, as it is Ola’s story after ten years, and she is in a different world, surrounded by different characters. In short, “Looking for Ola” is a new chapter in Ola Abdel-Sabour’s life.
Hind says that Ola’s story is one that never ends, as it is the story of every Arab woman who, during a period of her life, dreamed of getting married and starting a family. She is the girl who has been educated and worked, has family and friends, and in her life there are challenges, dreams and taboos that she tries to balance all of them.
While Hind Sabri was speaking, I felt that there was a hidden link between her and Ola Abdel-Sabour, which made her very close to her heart, so what makes Hind choose to return this character to the screen without all the other characters, after ten years?
Hind did not delay in answering, as it seems that Ola for her is not like any other character she presented, as she was a “code key” between her and the audience. Hind says: “There is always a cultural code or specific messages that the actor wants to convey through characters who have such capabilities, and Ola for me is the ideal character who makes me as an Arab woman at the age of Ola and at the age of many women in the Arab world are able to talk about our problems.” “
“Since I read the book and discovered the character of Ola, which is created by Ghada Abdel Aal, the original writer of the blog and book, and one of the “Searching for Ola” group of writers, I have felt that this is the character I want to hold on to, and say everything I want deliver it to the people.”
The series, which was shown in 2010, was then shown on many television stations, and Netflix is now re-showing it as well, which gave an opportunity for many to re-watch it again, and see it from a different point of view, which is not necessarily similar to the previous point of view when it was shown for the first time. This reflects the fact that our lives and our personalities have also changed, and not just Ola Abdel-Sabour.
I followed the series at the time, and I was curious to know what Ola’s life was like after all these years. But I wondered to myself: “Is it only my generation that wants to watch the series? Or will Hama pass to the younger generation?”
I did not keep this question to myself .. but I made sure to share it with Hind, so that she might help me answer it!
Since the series is currently shown on Netflix, many sons and daughters of the younger generation watched it, and won their admiration, because it deals with social problems that many girls still suffer from, and they felt that this series addresses them, despite the fact that the Arab world has changed during the past ten years. A lot. Today, after all these changes, we felt that there was a need to talk about a new and different Ola. And the audience today feels that they own Ola, so they can imagine it the way they want.”
Hind appears in this series as Ola, who is also its executive producer, a role she is playing for the first time. Regarding this role, Hend Sabry says: “In the American sense, the executive producer is Show Runner, that is, he is the person responsible for the creativity and quality of content for the series, whether it is writing, artistic management, team selection, and even delivering the series to Netflix.”
And she adds, “During this experience, I discovered all the challenges that women face in film work, such as directing, producing, and others, and the questions women face in this work environment, such as: Do you realize what you are doing? Will we follow her opinion? And is her “”word” that will walk? “..for all these reasons I needed to be present in every detail. So I hope I have made it easier for other women who want to go into this field.”
The series Searching for Ola returns with familiar faces that we loved and appreciated, the wonderful Sawsan Badr returns as Umm Ola, the able actor Hani Adel returns as Ola’s husband Hisham, and the new chapter of Ola’s life will be signed by director Hadi Al-Bagouri.
In the end, after filming the series and preparing it to be ready for the show soon, is Hend Sabry satisfied with what she presented?
“I feel satisfied with writing and directing, and I am satisfied that I learned a lot from this experience. In general, I was very stubborn, and there were many elements that I would never give up, and I am proud of myself for that. There were other elements that I gave up on, because it is an equation that calls for balance .”
Hind Sabry is waiting for the series to be shown and to know the audience’s opinion on the new chapter of Ola Abdel-Sabour’s life. Will the public find Ola in a suit that satisfies him after all these years?
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