When Hulu’s Ramy premiered in 2019 on Hulu, it was heralded as a landmark for Egyptian, Arab, and Muslim representation in Western media. Representation for Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) people remains scant, even with the small gains made, but it’s been especially rare for Palestinians, who must constantly endure attempted erasure in their homeland in Palestine and abroad.
A few gains have been made recently, especially with May Calamawy in Moon Knight, but a specific Palestinian story hasn’t been told yet in Western media. But Palestinian American actor and comedian Mohammed “Mo” Amer (who co-stars in DC’s upcoming Black Adam) and his Ramy co-star Ramy Youssef are changing that with the creation of their new Netflix and A24 show, Mo, a semi-autobiographical retelling of Amer’s own life in a comedic format. The series stars Mo Amer, Teresa Ruiz, Farah Bsieso, Omar Elba, and Tobe Nwigwe.
We see in the trailer that Mo Najjar and the rest of his Palestinian refugee family come to Houston, Texas for asylum. Judging from the trailer, it appears that Mo is the primary breadwinner for his family as they adjust to life in the U.S. The vibe is funny with a touch of melancholy as Mo and his family adjust to their new situation, rightfully expressing disgust at “chocolate hummus,” all while dealing with the continued trauma of their displacement out of Palestine, and their continued hope of fulfilling their right to return.
The prospect of this series exploring the Palestinian experience on a streaming service as wide-ranging as Netflix is a great step forward. Hopefully, this helps opens the door further for more Palestinian actors and stories to flourish in Hollywood.
Here you can find the summary sent to us by Netflix:
“Mo Najjar straddles the line between two cultures, three languages and a ton of bullshit as a Palestinian refugee constantly living one step away from asylum on the path to U.S. citizenship. His family — including his resilient and spiritual mother, sister and older brother — flee to Houston, Texas. Laughing the pain away, Mo learns to adapt to his new world though getting ahead in life comes with several setbacks.
The heartfelt comedy is created and executive produced by comedians Mo Amer (The Vagabond, Black Adam) and Ramy Youssef (Ramy, Mr. Robot). The series is executive produced by Ravi Nandan and Hallie Sekoff for A24, Harris Danow (Little Fires Everywhere, Daisy Jones & The Six), Luvh Rakhe (Dave, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and series Director Solvan “Slick” Naim (It’s Bruno!, Snowfall).”
All eight episodes of Mo premiere August 24 on Netflix.