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Dhafer L’Abidine Reunites with Hend Sabry on "Finding Ola" Season 2

Wed 31 Jan 2024 | 10:49 AM
Hend Sabry, Dhafer L’Abidine
Hend Sabry, Dhafer L’Abidine
Yara Sameh

Tunisian stars Dhafer L’Abidine and Hend Sabry will reunite on Season 2 of the hit Netflix TV series "Finding Ola".

This will be the third collaboration between the duo after 2017's "Halawet El Donia" and 2012's "Vertigo".

In the upcoming season, the titular heroine will be leaving her home city of Cairo and Egypt for at least part of the new season.

هند صبري وظافرThe series is written by Maha El Wazir and Ghada Abd El Aal and influenced by the main characters of the popular 2010 hit TV series “Ayza Atgawez” (I Want to Get Married), which Abd El Aal wrote.

The show featured Sabry as a middle-class, Cairo pharmacist desperate to get married before she turns 30.

The six-episode series featured the return of beloved character Ola Abdelsabour (Played by Sabry) after ten years as she navigates life’s many challenges while trying to find the balance between her role as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur.

In keeping with the regionally ground-breaking storyline of the original series, the series followed Ola rebuilding her life following her husband’s shock decision to call time on their marriage, leaving her to bring up their teenage daughters alone.

The role propelled Sabry to household name status across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 2010s.

In September 2023, Sabry shared insight on season 2 and disclosed she came up with the idea of revisiting the character more than a decade later after Netflix approached her, asking to collaborate, as part of its drive to grow its footprint across MENA.

“The readiest idea I had was to revive that show. I’d always believed the story wasn’t finished. People related to Ola in a way that was unique, compared to other characters I’ve played,” Sabry said.

“I saw the impact the original had on young women, on families and on mothers. Laughter can break so many barriers and so many taboos, especially in a region with a lot of them like ours.”

In a first for Sabry, she took on show-running duties, bringing back on board Abdel Aal.

“It was tactically interesting for me to re-explore this character both as an actress and a producer,” says Sabry, who was involved in every stage of the show, from the development to the writing room and signing director Hadi El Bagoury.

“I like playing with content and as an actress, I don’t get the same kind of control as producer. I’m very detail oriented and production is all about details,” Sabry added.

Released by Netflix in February 2022, "Finding Ola" made it into the Top 10 worldwide and also came in at number one in the Arab-speaking world for three weeks.

“I also started having fans from Brazil and Costa Rica on my Instagram page,” recounts Sabry, who currently has some 3.5 million followers on the social media platform.

“I think it appealed to viewers in Latin American countries because our family structure is not dissimilar and some of their societies can be quite conservative, so it resonated.”