Netflix, MEMI grant Arab writers $30k to boost Arabic storytelling

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Netflix and The Middle East Media Initiative (MEMI) have granted five Arab writers $30,000 each to help further their creative projects, the online streaming platform announced in a statement.

Netflix selected Saudi nationals Sultan Tamer and Summer Shesha, Ahmed Essam Elsayed from Egypt, and writing partners Karim Ariqat and Mohammad Ali al-Nablsea from Jordan.

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“We have an ongoing partnership with MEMI to support emerging and established talent from the region. As we work to tell more stories from the Arab world that can be loved globally, we’re collaborating with industry partners to equip storytellers with the tools they need to tell the best version of their stories,” Deana Nassar Fernandez, Netflix’s Grow Creative Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, said.

The writers took part in the MEMI Summer Program to complete their projects.

Under the program, participants and alumni are offered a yearly opportunity to meet with Netflix executives and pitch their stories. They also had the opportunity to take Netflix masterclasses on creative writing and pitching.

“What makes both MEMI and Netflix MENA unique is their access to top global resources, combined with expertise of their Arab executives, many who come from grassroots movements of creative economy,” Hisham Fageeh, Head of the Middle East Media Initiative (MEMI), said.

Some of the Middle East’s most successful writers have participated in the MEMI program including Amr Salama, Tamer Mohsen, Sarah Taibah, and Mariam Naoum, Netflix said in the statement.

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