Beirut: Hijab-clad Nedaa Shrara from Jordan became the first woman to win on MBC’s Arabic version of popular television reality show The Voice Ahla Sawt.
Throughout the three-hour episode, which was filmed live in Beirut at the MBC studios, her mentor, Egyptian star Sherine Abdel-Wahab, was insistent that Shrara would win the third season, and said that viewers “all have enough good sense and know better, and will make sure she wins and they won’t disappoint me”.
But not many know that 23-year-old Shrara, who teaches children with special needs, did not apply to audition of her own accord.
“I was surprised to learn that my friends and family had sent in an audition tape in without telling me,” said Shrara. “I was so happy to hear that I was chosen to audition, because I knew it was the only way to make my dreams come true. I came to The Voice with one goal: to win.”
According to MBC, 150 million viewers across the Middle East tuned in to watch the third season of The Voice, which ran over every Saturday for 14 weeks. Both #MBCTheVoice and #NedaaShrara were among the top 10 trending hashtags in the region.
Aya Ibrahem tweeted: ‘@NedaaShrara your voice is too good it gave me goosebumps #nedaashrara #MBCTheVoice’.
Ikram Adjissa said in his tweet: ‘@mbcthevoice Congrat #NedaaShrara ur the best of the best. Wish ur father recognizes this success. Big love’
During the course of the show, Sherine Abdel-Wahab revealed that Nedaa Shrara has been estranged from her father ever since she left Jordan to take part in The Voice.
“From the moment Nedaa came to The Voice, her father hasn’t spoken to her and doesn’t agree with what she’s doing,” said Abdel-Wahab.
“I want to say that, despite all the temptations she grapples with daily on this show, Nedaa has stuck to her convictions and beliefs, has always dressed in accordance with her hijab and her modesty, has always been true to her values.