Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 5 December 2020

Nadine Nassib Njeim to star in new Ramadan drama 'Zizi's Salon'

The Lebanese-Tunisian actress and model was severely injured in the Beirut port explosion in August

Nadine Nassib Njeim was injured in the Beirut explosion. Instagram
Nadine Nassib Njeim was injured in the Beirut explosion. Instagram

Nadine Nassib Njeim will return to our screens in a 2021 Ramadan drama.

The Lebanese-Tunisian actress and model, who was severely injured in the Beirut port explosion in August, has signed up to star in the drama Zizi's Salon, which will be screened during the holy month next April.

According to entertainment website ET Bil Arabi, the new series will comprise 15 episodes and will be produced by Sadiq Al Sabah, who has worked with Njeim on Khamsa w Nos (2019) and 2017’s Al Hayba in the past.

To be directed by Joe Bou Eid, Zizi's Salon is expected to start filming on New Year's Day.

It will be Njeim's first new acting project since the August 4 port explosion in Beirut, which ripped through her apartment and left her injured and in hospital.

Since then, she has been updating fans on her progress in addition to launching her very own Instagram filter and a new cosmetics collection with beauty brand Mac.

It remains unclear where the new drama will be shot, considering Njeim tweeted her intention to leave Lebanon after deeming the country unsafe and unstable after the explosion.

"In this moment in the hospital I have made a decision," she said on August 9. "I will leave the country and live in safety in another country that respects its people. This is better than staying in a country ruled by bullies and death."

While there has been no official word on whether she went through with the move, the news of the starring role and constant engagement on social media points to a career back on track.

What do we know about the role?

There is little information available about the plot of Zizi's Salon, other than that Njeim is to play a salon owner and the show will feature a strong cast of women.

Such a character is in line with previous roles Njeim has taken on. After winning the Miss Lebanon competition in 2004, she has gone on to star in a number of hit dramas since her debut role in the 2009 series Mousalsal Rijal Al Hasem.

In her last Ramadan television outing, 2019’s drama Khamsa w Nos, she played a no-nonsense doctor caught in a web of political intrigue.

International audiences also had a glimpse of her talent in the 2017 debut season of drama Al Hayba. Available to stream on Netflix, she delivers a career-best performance as a defiant mother escaping the clutches of a crime family.

With the first season a ratings hit, Njeim sensationally quit the series in 2018 after criticising the male-dominated plot of the follow-up season.

A new Ramadan TV trend?

The news that Zizi's Salon will only run for 15 episodes, instead of the usual 30 episode format, is a sign of the way Covid-19 has disrupted the Arab television industry.

The onset of the pandemic halted a string of anticipated dramas mid-production this year, forcing broadcasters to air half of anticipated series such as Al-Saher this Ramadan, with remaining episodes to be screened next year.

Updated: November 15, 2020 06:43 PM

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