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Who is Aya Samaha from Paranormal, the first Egyptian Netflix Original?

Bruno Cooke November 6, 2020
aya samaha paranormal

Who is actress Aya Samaha from Paranormal, Netflix’s first Egyptian Original, which just debuted on 5 November? An adaptation of a popular novel series by Egyptian writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, the show is part of Netflix’s push for Arab content on the streaming platform.

Who is Paranormal’s Aya Samaha?

Egyptian actress Aya Samaha has three IMDB credits to her name. Before the launch of 2020’s Paranormal she had a minor part in Hadi El Bagoury’s Hepta: The Last Lecture (2016). 

More significantly, she features in all 30 episodes of Egyptian mystery drama Grand Hotel (2016). However, her international breakthrough role is Netflix’s Paranormal.

About Last Night | Season 1 Official Trailer | Studiocanal International

In conversation with Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Samaha revealed some curious tidbits about her personal skincare routine. These include soaking her face in sparkling water for five seconds. She repeats this five times.

She claims it “has an antibacterial nature and hydrates [her] face more than regular water”. Who knew?

Does Samaha have a boyfriend?

Samaha got engaged earlier this year. However, she notified her followers and fans she and her partner wouldn’t hold major wedding celebrations for some time. 

In a post to her Instagram feed, Samaha wrote to her followers: “We are officially engaged, but no celebrations were held or will be for the time being because of the coronavirus situation.”

What is Paranormal about? 

Set in Egypt in the 1960s, Paranormal is the first Egyptian original Netflix series. It follows haematologist Dr Refaat Ismail as he investigates a particularly mysterious and unusual case, and in the process unravels a secret from his own youth.

Aya Samaha is in all six episodes of the first series and plays a character called Huwaida Abdel Moniem.

Paranormal forms an essential part of a Netflix plan to “invest in Arab creators, in Arab production, in Arab content”.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, vice-president of international originals at Netflix, said: “We are so excited to be investing in more Middle Eastern productions by adapting the highly acclaimed Paranormal series of novels into an exciting show.”

The show made its debut on 5 November and already speculation has begun about a second series.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.