Obviously, the internet has given us so much, and one of its most blissful offsprings yet is young vlogger and actress Sarrah AbdelRahman. From being “the girl in that funny video” to “confused Heba” who everyone relates to, it has been quite the ride! We had a chat with Sarrah; argued, joked and sometimes even got personal to get to know this promising talent who plays Sabe3 Gar show’s most controversial character. “A fair share of people believe that art and entertainment are there to educate us and so they must only present positive examples,” Sarrah tells “But we have to see the reality with its downsides to be able to develop”
The easiness and spontaneity of Sarrah’s breakthrough-performance have been aided by real life experience. “Lots of our problems root back to the generation gaps, when I was growing up my parents did not get me at all, they did not approve of so many things that I wanted to do, they just did not understand and there was no real conversation! It is series like “Sab3 Gar” that push for us to understand the necessity of actual communication,” Sarrah argues.
Throughout the series, the character Heba who feels that she is different, is constantly held back from all the opportunities that come her way for society and tradition’s sake. “I was attracted to Heba because she is well aware that there are things that she can’t do just because she is a girl and this idea hit so close to home,” She says.
“I decided to talk back to everyone who harasses me in the streets, including a police officer”
Using her Youtube channel as a platform for presenting all ideas that provoke her, Sarrah tackled the the invisible patriarchy in public spaces referring to the idea of men being way more comfortable in the streets of Egypt than women who are always battling an inevitable threat. This is something that she has been trying to overcome on a personal level. “I decided to talk back to everyone who harasses me in the streets, including a police officer. There is something empowering about not being quiet when someone attempts to hurt you. This kind of attitude has contributed to a lot of cases coming up and getting the attention they deserve,” She tells.
“Before, the word “harassment” was not even commonly used. It was “flirting” instead, which is a word that has a positive connotation. Now we have at least come to understand the issue that we are battling, but we still have a long way to go!” Sarrah adds.
“People usually reply to my stories saying ‘why do you post stuff like this?’ Well, It is because this is who I am and I am proud of it”
The no-makeup policy on set of Sabe3 Gar has significantly contributed to the show’s ability to mirror Egyptian women as they are rather than what the camera needs them to be. “Beauty standards are to a large extent shaped through advertisement and they alter with the change of time and place. I am in love with imperfections, the high standards of being so neat and on fleek can hold us back from lots of things and are just not good for our self esteem,” Sarrah says.
“Society is so married into the idea that marriage is the ultimate achievement for a woman”
Despite the fact that we are used to seeing celebrities all glamorous and on point, this messy-hair-don’t-care power woman is quite open to sharing photos of herself in her natural state at home on her snapchat account. “People usually reply to my stories saying ‘why do you post stuff like this?’ Well, It is because this is who I am and I am proud of it,” She says. While we are in love with her confidence, we challenged Sarrah to take a photo of her normal-home look and send it to us, and she accepted the challenge.
One of the stereotypical ideas that the Character Heba and so many Egyptian girls try to combat is the traditional view on marriage and the “Msh hanefrah beeki b2a?” line that comes as a package with the whole Arab Girl experience. “Society is so married into the idea that marriage is the ultimate achievement for a woman. My view on it is that we should really stop taking this question seriously. I would advise girls to reply with much charm and ask “Do you have a groom for me?,” Sarrah jokes.
Up Close & Personal:
Say three things about yourself:
- I am a middle child
- I google everything
- My parents didn’t want me to major in theatre, I had to do a lot to make it happen.
Who is your celebrity best friend? Say something about him/her.
- Both Ahmed Malek and Ahmed Magdy. Malek is very passionate about his work and he is someone that I have good conversations with. Magdy is very inspirational and focused, which is something that I love about him.
Who is the last celebrity you stalked on social media?
- Hend Sabry! I love her.
Have you ever told a guy that you like him first? Do you think it is okay for women to initiate this?
- Yes, I did this many times. There is nothing wrong with women taking the initiative, in fact it takes a lot of strength to do that and if the guy does not understand this then he is not worth your time.
What do women want?
- Women want the freedom and space to make their own choices, and the support and empowerment to make these choices happen.
Feature Image: Samy Fares Photography