To the MENA and beyond, it’s Gossip Girl here… your one and only source into the scandalous lives of MENA’s elite!
Gossip Girl made its reboot comeback last week and was HBO MAX’s most watched original series, ever! I guess you naughty people have longed for the drama, cliffhangers and flamboyant hookups, and most of all, the crazy fashion extravaganza.
Much like the OG, the reboot is based on the best-selling book by Cecily von Ziegesar. The new iteration of the show aims to address the extent to which social media has affected the landscape of New York, eight years after the original website, helmed by Dan Humphrey, went offline.
Scandals, intrigues, passion, fashion… unsurprisingly, Gossip Girl was the number one trending topic on Twitter and has acquired over 15 billion impressions on TikTok. And we couldn’t help but ask ourselves how would Gossip Girl look if it was set in the MENA region.
We decided that there was no better way to bask in all of the circa early ’00s feels than by casting our very own Arab version! Dan, Serena, Chuck, Blair, Nate and Jenny, they’re all back, but did your Arab faves make the cut? Let’s find out! Bring on the delicious Arab drama.
Let me set the scene! The year is irrelevant. “If I’m right, and we all know I am,” the gossip, drama and fashion – they’re all inherently part of who we are as Arabs. It’s the first day of school, and our very own cast, from across the MENA, have one thing in common: they live in my utopian city called United Arabia. On this ideal territory, secrets travel fast, but Gossip Girl travels faster.
“You may find this hard to believe, but not everyone wants to be Blair Waldorf;” well, that’s because “not everyone can be.” Blair, oh Blair! “You used the everyday China! Cyrus will think we’re common upper middle class.” I can’t help but think of Blair’s iconic scene with Dorota, when drawing the comparison to Norah Aleisa.
Norah recently launched The First Supper – an art themed dining experience with a vibrant ambience orchestrated to take you on an immersive voyage to a creative dimension. From her uber-chic style to her knowledge of all things fashion and luxury, Norah Aleisa is absolutely Blair worthy.
“I’m not a stop along the way. I’m a destination,” says Blair. So is Rania Fawaz – a hybrid between preppy and edgy. From her soft, natural looks to her hip and relevant style, Rania is the one everyone wants to be.
SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN
If we were to go by Serena van der Woodsen’s iconic and often overlooked advice, to cast our Arab Serena, we think it should be either Azza Slimene or Elyanna. “Earn the spotlight on your own merits. You’ll feel better.”
Both women earned their it-girl status on their own merits. Elyanna is the Palestinian/Chilean singer who found mainstream success in recent years, and Azza Slimene is the Tunisian actress, entrepreneur and model, who was discovered by the late Azzedine Alaïa.
So, who is our Arab Jenny Humphrey? As the show progresses, Jenny steps away from seeking approval and works to be a force in her own right. Salma Malhas or Lana Albeik are our top two choices for this role. Both are authentic, edgy and relatable. The two of them are also challenging the typical standards of beauty; Lana is embracing her natural unibrow and Salma recently shaved her head. As best said by Jenny herself, “there is no more hierarchy. This is a new era! Let freedom reign!” Beautiful, and disruptive!
Introducing Chuck Bass. Women, and even a few men, can hardly resist him. From his dark brown hair to his dark chocolate eyes, he is the fashion icon we all demand. Ahmed Alsayed has Chuck’s soft-spoken tone and natural charm, whereas Omar Sherief exudes Chuck’s dark and mysterious energy. Like Chuck, both of these men have perfect hair, a natural tan and are always well dressed.
Chuck wouldn’t be complete without his best friend, Nate Archibald. Throughout the show, we get to know Nate as the character who is kind and caring, especially to his inner circle. If the comment section on their respective social media platforms is anything to go by, Louai Alama and Ali Latif, both of whom are male models, have earned their Nate status.
Dan Humphrey, finally! An initial glimpse into Ahmad Kontar’s Instagram will have you head over heels. But did you know he’s working on a degree in physiotherapy? The model was scouted on the streets of Paris and has landed campaigns and shows for many fashion houses including Hermes. Jordanian male model Mohammad Ajoory is also a great choice for Dan. He’s exploding on TikTok and now Instagram too, but how much do we actually know about him? Exactly. Just like Dan, he’s bound to constantly surprise us.
Now that the scene is set, I’ll leave you to it. Who are you choosing? Let the voting begin – on our Instagram page.
XOXO, Gossip Girl.