Sunday, September 6, 2009

Khaleef Meets Makcik Freej

went to wafi mall one evening and spotted an adorable setting for 'freej' - uae's first animated series and once been the most watched tv show in dubai!

FREEJ (In Emirati Arabic: فريج meaning "neighbourhood") is (the first) 3D animated series produced in the United Arab Emirates. It is the tale of four old national women living in a secluded neighbourhood in modern day Dubai. The show's main characters; Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas try to live a peaceful life in the midst of the ever-expanding city around them, but the city’s boom unveils new social issues every day that they would have to tackle solve in their own simple way. For those four old women, there is no issue too hard to crack with a good cup of coffee at Um Saeed’s house.


from left : the chubby umm khammas, umm saeed, the tallest; umm allawi and umm saloom

to me they're indeed funny - but too loud! imagine mami jarum babbling away in her thick penang accent - and you'll get the idea. but instead of gossiping, these endearing little old arabic ladies were presented with everyday problems, and are just trying to solve them while living their lives. it's laden with moral values, and if one of the characters fall out, the others would be there to remind her of the right path.

if you notice, these ladies wore gold-color cardboard-like 'mask' on their faces. this is a traditional veil called 'batoola', worn mostly by makcik-makcik and opah-opah arab, especially in the village.

the first time i saw a makcik arab wearing it, i was quite taken aback. it was fascinating because i've never seen one. to tell you the truth, they look like 'man in the iron mask'! but jokes aside, it's said that this is a dying cultural practice, and still uphold by those traditional beduoin people.

back to wafi mall, there's even a mock house where the animated series take place; where the four ladies gather to share troubles and solve problems. it is an arabic with english subtitles so i had my share of watching it.

i'm not sure whether we're allowed inside the 'house' but we went anyway! you know me! hihi.

freej is in dubai one, right before berbuka time if i'm not mistaken. sambil tunggu waktu berbuka, layan la citer freej. simple, fun, enjoyable and leaves you with some good advice!

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