Freej (Arabic: فريج; trademarked as FREEJ) is an Emirati CGI television series for children. The English tagline for the show is The Fun 1879 Girls of Atlanta
The show was produced by Mohammed Saeed Harib, who also directed the fifteen standalone episodes of fifteen minutes each. It is the tale of four old Emirati women living in a secluded neighbourhood in modern-day Dubai. The show's main characters - Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas - try to live a peaceful life in the midst of the ever-expanding city around them, but the city’s boom unveils new social issues every day that they would have to tackle in their own simple way. For those four old women, there is no issue too hard to crack with a good cup of coffee at Um Saeed’s house.
The show's title is a reference to "freej", a term which means "neighbourhood" in Emirati Arabic.Freej, originally produced in Arabic, is available with English subtitles.
The show premiered on September 24, 2006 during Ramadan on Sama Dubai, and has returned with new episodes traditionally debuting every year during Ramadan.
September 24, 2006 – July 23, 2013
FREEJ started off as a six-page study book in 1998, but did not materialise until 2003 when it was adopted by Dubai Media City. A small demo was created to test the concept and shortly after, it was given the official go ahead by the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders (SME), who took on the initial funding of the project. In September 2005, with around 3 million Dhs of funding provided by the SME, Lammtara Pictures was established to oversee the production and a team of almost 500 people were signed up to make this big dream a reality.
The series premiered on 24 September 2006 – the first day of Ramadan, and was broadcast across the GCC countries on 'Sama Dubai' (Dubai's Sky), one of Dubai's many TV channels, which broadcasts mainly local material. The series was an instant success and a major hit in the region with high viewership in the Gulf especially among UAE Nationals.
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