It was only a month ago when the song “Elly Qadra” went viral all over social media. The song’s video was about a bride, AKA Amina Khalil, that decided to run away on her wedding day; and to say that people were confused would be an understatement. Some shared the song along with many empowerment slogans. Others began the whole “so this is what you feminists want?” argument. And only a few thought that the song is a small part of a whole series, so let’s not be too quick to judge!
“Leih La?” is a Shahid mini-series that will be streaming three times a week during this month, starring a bunch of top-of-the-list actors like Amina Khalil, Hany Adel, Sherin Reda, Hala Sedky, and Mohamed El Sharnouby. The first 3 episodes of the show came out this past weekend and people went nuts.
So what all the fuss is about?
Now the show follows the story of Alia, a 31-year-old girl who decides that she’s fed up with her strict mother and family. She begins her “rebellious” act when she runs away from her to-be husband on their Katb El-Ketab. Throughout the show, we come to understand that Alia’s decision to run away actually isn’t THAT sudden.
She’s 31 years old, being told by her mother and family that if she won’t get married now, she won’t get married ever. That she will lose her shot at pregnancy and having kids. Alia’s own mother and family scared her into marriage by using the concept of “cute guy, cute kids, and cute house” we all grew up looking forward to. All women at some point during their lives went through this … right? But some of them forgot to ask themselves; is this really what she wants to do? Is this really what she HAS to do? Though the whole running away thing of course wasn’t fair for the groom or his family, but don’t you think that this was a wakeup call for us to understand what a lifetime of oppression could lead up to?
So before we dive deep, let’s see what people online are thinking.
The show didn’t just discuss the dilemma of “not being married after 30”, but also the issue of women living on their own. Alia receives an e-mail two weeks after the scandalous Katb El-Ketab. The e-mail is about a weird women empowerment competition that a well-known university is offering. She hesitates and contemplates whether to apply for it or not. And why is that? Yes, you guessed right, because the competition’s first condition for women is to “live independently on their own”.
So, all in all, I found the writing of the show till now so natural, smooth, and down-to-earth (Thank God for Mariam Na’oum), but frankly, what kind of competition exactly requires women to live on their own? I think we needed more clarification in this part. But maybe we’ll get to understand it more in the upcoming episodes?
We can all debate about whether the show is stagy or not. If Alia came out as an extremely naïve character or if she represents a large portion of Egyptian women, but no one can deny that a lot of women from different ages, social, and educational classes did relate to the show.
I mean we don’t really have enough series that focuses on women’s struggles in this society, right? You remember the show “Ayza Atgawez” that talked about the same marriage struggle? That was ten years ago! So the show producer’s mere attempt of focusing on this side should be admired. We need more shows that make women feel they’re not alone, that they have more options and opportunities. The show is so dynamic till now, and to think that it made all that feedback (positive and negative) only after 3 episodes is a huge success.
Always facing the world with humor, books, and a good cup of coffee! Zahra is the girl who has a lot to say about everything and always needs to write something down.