Friends and family of Mayyas speak of pride before 'America's Got Talent' final

Farah Charaf, sister to dancer Aya, says the group have 'never failed to amaze us with new and different visuals'

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

There may be mere hours to go before the winning act of America’s Got Talent is crowned, but in the eyes of many in Lebanon and abroad, Mayyas have already won.

Watching from her family’s home in Lebanon, Farah Charaf, 28, says she is incredibly proud of her sister, Aya, 24, who is one of the dancers in the group.

“They literally escalated their performance one show after another,” she tells The National. “And they never failed to amaze us with new and different visuals.”

The dance troupe performed in the America's Got Talent finals on Tuesday night, astonishing the judges.

"Fabulous," shouted judge Sofia Vergara at the co-ordinated dance. "Another level."

Fellow judge Howie Mandel said: "This is my favourite act ever on AGT."

In June, the group made their America's Got Talent debut with a routine that earned them a golden buzzer from Modern Family actress Vergara.

One performance after another, they have managed to leave the judges and audience equally blown away.

But for their loved ones back home, each win is a little dearer to their hearts as they watch the group making global headlines.

This is just the beginning for them
Ghady Al Hader

“I can’t describe how I felt watching the final performance,” says Ghady Al Hader, 20. “I’m a close friend of some of the girls, but I am incredibly proud of all of them.”

In a previous interview, founder and choreographer of the group Nadim Cherfan said the dancers had been putting in long hours ahead of their trip to Los Angeles.

“When it’s about art, nothing stands in your way,” said Cherfan. “It was challenging for the girls, but they pulled through.”

Their friends and family bore witness to their hard work, in their eyes making them all the more deserving of the winning title.

“This is just the beginning for them,” says Al Hader. “The girls are worldwide now.”

Karim Fattah, 21, another friend of some of the dancers, says the group's success is showing the world just what Arab women are capable of.

"I am proud of how far they’ve come and that with each performance they stole the audiences' breath away," Fattah says.

"They demonstrated 'what Arab women can do', to quote Lilia Hajj, a dancer, and they did it with spectacular fashion."

Mayyas’ advancement in America’s Got Talent has become a beacon of hope for many, especially as Lebanon battles a crippling economic crisis.

“Seeing a Lebanese group on the biggest stage in the world means everything to me and all the Lebanese people,” says Mohamad Ajouz, 21, another friend of the some of the dancers.

“They represent what the Lebanese woman can do and what the Lebanese citizens have to offer.”

Despite their confidence in the group's ability to bring the winning title home, their friends and family say they are proud of them no matter what.

“One thing I’d like to tell the girls is that you’re already winners to the whole world,” Ajouz says. “Thank you for showing the world what the true Lebanon is.”

Updated: September 15, 2022, 6:09 AM