Abla Fahita, a widow Egyptian puppet known for her sharp humour has managed to gain an impressive online following worldwide. Wearing her trademark rollers and thick eyeliner, she made her first appearance on YouTube in 2010 and went on to have her own show Abla Fahita: Live from the Duplex on CBC, an Egyptian satellite channel. Now, she makes an appearance twice a week on ON TV channel making comments on coronavirus around the world. And yes, not to forget, the identity of her creator is a well-guarded secret. Even though she is the gossip girl of television Fahita makes sure not to talk about her creator.

The satirical puppet is a no ‘strings attached’, widow, who is a mother of two children. Such is her popularity that she was even seen walking down the red carpet at the Dubai International Film Festival. Abla was daring enough to ask for Hollywood star Tom Cruise’s number so that she does not have to walk the red carpet alone.

I’ve crossed all kinds of colored lines, sometimes unintentionally – but it will always be a struggle, between what you want to say and who will judge it. I see it as an extra spice for living on the edge. – Abla Fahita told Cairo West Magazine in an interview.

Abla got her last name courtesy a hilarious video where she was happily seen discussing how to make the Mexican dish Fajita. Abla was added as a prefix to Fahita as the word is often used to address the older people with respect.

What makes her different!

Besides being a no strings puppet, and thus free to do as she pleases, Abla is known for her YouTube videos themed Fahita’s exploits. Egyptians just love their dear Abla. She is also considered the most outspoken feminist in the region. Also, Fahita is the founder of the fictional association, ‘On my Own’, for single women, widows, and divorcees. Just like many other celebrities, Abla has a strong presence on social media with 1.2 million followers on Twitter and 1.9 million on Instagram.

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The pampered one!

“What to do? I am too much loved, it’s understood, of course,” said Abla during an interview. In 2011 Egypt was undergoing political turmoil and as Abla didn’t shy away from dishing out strong political critique, she became a celebrity of a kind. People loved her for her controversial commentary, witty remarks and not to forget, the Egyptian accent. For the Arab world, Abla soon became a brand. From being seen in designer clothes during her show to her appearance in popular commercials, including that of Nestle, she has come a long way.

What Next?

“I am aiming to surprise myself with my next move – maybe movies, something new enough to shake Hollywood,” adds witty Abla. The year 2020 will take Abla’s popularity to a whole new level. The iconic puppet will have her own Netflix series produced by Egyptian production houses OKWRD Production and ASAP productions. The story of the series will revolve around Abla’s life after stardom. Commenting on this, Abla says, “Damn this globalization! I barely had enough time for my own show and now they want me to do a series.” The show will be available in almost 20 languages and in 120 countries across the globe.

I believe girls should be taught the hard way so they grow up tough and strong in a testosterone-ruled society- Abla Fahita

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Finding her own way

Arab women are locked in a tough battle to gain equal rights in a deeply conservative society. Abla Fahita, not only gives a strong representation to these women but also gives them a voice. But even outside of the Arab world, Abla’s voice has resonated with many, and there’s a reason for that: women don’t have many iconic characters that break stereotypes and champion no holds barred conversations to root for. Which is perhaps why we all love to watch Abla bask in the spotlight.

Picture Credit: CBC

Simran Dhawan is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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