There might well be a distinct lack of Arab representation in cartoons and comics, but 22-year-old Emirati director Fatma Al Muhairi is on a mission to change this. How? By creating her own cartoon show with a strong, female lead.
We wanted to know more about the five-episode cartoon, Emara: Emirates Hero, so got together with Fatma to learn more about her story - and Emara's...
Born and raised in Dubai, Fatma tells Grazia she grew up watching cartoons and noticed nobody looked like her. “I wanted to see myself in cartoon,” she explains.“I didn't want my little cousins growing up with that same feeling of disconnect I had trying to find myself in my favourite shows. Emara is the kind of character I wanted growing up that I didn't get to have.”
Emara is an Emirati superhero fighting crime on the busy streets of the UAE. The cartoon, aimed at audiences 12 and above, follows 19-year-old Moza as she delves undercover and transforms into superhero Emara. Very cool indeed.
Fatma tells us more: "Emara's costume proudly has her wearing her sheilah, made up of colours from the UAE flag. I wanted Emara to dress modestly because I think that specific character, especially as a main character, is missing."
She adds: “I've seen a few hijabi characters in recent shows but never in the role of a main character and I'd really love to see a change in that. I'd like to see more Arab and Muslim representation from Hollywood and more hijabi representation from local shows."
And Fatma leaves us with this: “Being an Arab woman means being a fighter. It means having to fight a lot harder to get whatever guys get by default. Do we have better options than the women before us? Yes. Could they be better today? Yes."
Watch the first episode here:
Photos: Baws and Instagram @almagicc