Streaming platform Netflix is continuing its initiative of creating diverse Arabic content from the region.
Scattered Barriers will be the first Omani show to be streamed on Netflix and will be released this month. The six-episode series is set in Oman, but was shot in the UAE, in Al Ain.
As part of its regional strategy and expansion, Netflix has been focusing on original Arabic content, including the creation and release of shows such as Jinn, its first Arabic original series in 2019, a contemporary supernatural drama filmed in Jordan. This also includes Paranormal, a series released in 2020, set in 1960s Egypt, as well as AlRawabi School for Girls, which came out in 2021, also set in Jordan, and The Cage, a 2022 romantic comedy/drama, and its first Kuwaiti series.
Its most recent release was Dubai reality TV series, Dubai Bling.
Netflix has also acquired licences for more Arabic content, which will be streamed on the platform.
“We want to create more stories made in the Arab world that can be loved globally,” Nuha El Tayeb, director of content acquisitions for Netflix in Mena told The National.
“To make that possible, we’re working with Arab storytellers to tell stories that are authentic and ultimately give more people a chance to see their lives reflected on screen. That means working with both new and established voices to tell stories that haven’t been told before and provide Arab talent and filmmakers with a platform to gain fans globally.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Scattered Barriers.
What is it about?
Scattered Barriers is a story that sheds light on how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the lives of ordinary people, altering cultural norms and realties of everyday life, ultimately affecting how people interact with one another.
The series follows the story of Nasser, a taxi driver who refuses to believe and accept the danger Covid-19 poses until the virus claims the life of his mother.
Nasser is struck with grief, blaming himself for his mother’s death and refuses to accept the new reality of his life. After losing his job, he is determined to honour his mother’s life, gaining an understanding of the true meaning of family.
Who is in it?
The series stars talent including celebrated Omani actors Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Amina Abdel Rasoul, Essam Al Zadjali, Balqis Al Balushi and Raed Al Ameri, as well as Emirati actor Salama Al Mazrouei.
“The work contains a lot of human feelings, positive messages and lessons that many people learned during that pandemic,” Al Zadjali, who plays Nasser, told Oman Daily Observer.
He also spoke about the importance of having an Omani show on a platform with a high global reach.
“To have a work broadcast on the global platform Netflix is definitely a wonderful thing, and I believe that every artist wishes to be watched widely,” he said. “Especially today's generation is always eager to watch this important global platform, and to follow the various content that is shown.”
Scattered Barriers is directed by Abdul Bari Abu El-Kheir, whose 2022 miniseries Dreams Drawn by Dust won him the Best TV Series award at the Los Angeles Film Awards, and filmed by award-winning Australian cinematographer Susan Lumsdon.
The production team included 28 people of determination from 11 countries.
When is it out?
Scattered Barriers will premiere on Netflix on Thursday.