Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan actress Dina Shihabi has signed a development deal with Propagate for Habibti, a scripted series based on her experiences living in Los Angeles with her Saudi friends.
The series follows three Saudi women as they straddle two cultures, navigate life in the big city, build lives for themselves in the U.S. and return home to the Kingdom. Shihabi created, wrote and executive produces Habibti. Michael Gasparro, Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Linh Le also are EPs.
“When we met Dina and heard her story, we were instantly hooked,” Propagate co-CEOs Silverman and Owens. “Developing authentic voices has been part of Propagate’s DNA, and it has been our mission to identify unique talent like Dina and share their stories with the rest of the world. We believe this coming of age story of a young Saudi actress will tap into the cultural zeitgeist and will resonate with audiences worldwide.”
After living most of her life in Dubai, Saudi native Shihabi moved to New York and became the first Middle East-born woman to be accepted to both the Julliard and NYU Graduate Acting programs. She co-stars in Amazon’s upcoming series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan as Hanin, the wife of an Islamic terrorist
She probably is best known for Amira & Sam, Sean Mullin’s indie feature in which she starred opposite Martin Starr, and she most was recently in Clare Barron’s play Dance Nation. She also recurred on CBS’ Madam Secretary.
“I’m excited to partner with Ben, Howard and the team at Propagate for ‘Habibti,’” Shihabi said. “Ben has been a champion for bringing unique women’s voices to television through critically acclaimed series like Jane the Virgin and Ugly Betty. Sharing this story comes from a deep- rooted desire for Saudi women to be seen. People are always shocked when they find out where we come from because they have no idea of how we should act, sound and look. I’m excited Habibti is going to shatter those stereotypes, reveal how similar we are, and also celebrate our differences.”
Shihabi is repped by ICM Partners and Gasparro Management.