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Netflix’s Nuha El Tayeb To Lead Streamer’s Arabic Content Following Exit Of Ahmed Sharkawi

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has handed control to its Arabic content slate to long-serving exec Nuha El Tayeb following the exit of Ahmed Sharkawi.

El Tayeb has been with Netflix since 2018 and rose to her current role as Content Director for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region and Turkey in December 2019.

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Following the exit of Arabic originals boss Sharkawi this month, she will expand her role to oversee the entire Arabic content slate, spanning acquisitions and originals for film and TV, both in scripted and unscripted. We understand she will be based at Netflix’s international HQ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Sharkawi, who was Director of Arabic Content, Development, for the past five years out of Amsterdam, announced on LinkedIn earlier this month that he was leaving after “an unforgettable journey” and was “excited for new adventures ahead.” He exits Netflix under amicable circumstances. C21 first reported on his exit.

Under the leadership of the Sony Pictures Television Arabia Sharkawi, Netflix had build a local Netflix scripted content team and slate. The streamer’s producing original Arabic series and films such as ParanormalAbla Fahita; two season of AlRawabi School for Girls, Finding Ola and The Exchange; and Crashing Eid among others.

Netflix looks set to continue to invest in films and TV series out of Arab region under El Tayeb.

Upcoming scripted and unscripted titles unveiled at a content showcase at the end of January include a UAE version of Love is Blind titled Love is Blind, Habibi, a feature film from Saudi Arabian actress and first-time director Fatima Al-Banawi titled Basma, Kuwaiti rom-com Honeymoonish and eight-episode revenge drama Echoes of the Past.

El Tayeb is a veteran Arabic entertainment industry exec, having worked at CBC in Egypt as acquisitions chief and as a senior channels manager at Middle Eastern broadcaster OSN. Further back, she worked at Showtime Arabia, which was a venture between a Kuwaiti holding company and Viacom (now Paramount Global). Showtime Arabia merged with Orbit Communications to form OSN.

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