“The Gamboo3a Revolution” is a short documentary film produced by three Applied Communications students at Dubai Men’s College; Abdulrahman Al Madani, Saeed Al Emadi and Saeed Salmin. It discusses the “gamboo3a” (pronounced ‘Gamboo’aah’, a.k.a. the beehive hairdo) phenomenon; in other words the big hair under the veil, which ‘fashionista’ hijab wearers are donning these days and whether or not it contradicts the traditional sheila and abaya’s initial purpose- to dress modestly. Khaleejesque got together with the talented trio and discussed this tongue in cheek analytical documentary.
How did you come about to start the documentary?
As a part of our college course, our professor assigned us to pick a variety of topics for a documentary stating that the best ones will be shortlisted by a vote. The gamboo3a topic, which my sister suggested, received the most votes so we decided to go ahead with it especially because it’s a relevant social topic in the UAE today. It has been helmed by me, Abdulrahman Al Madani, and my colleagues Saeed Al Emadi and Saeed Salmin. We are also very thankful to Mr. Ali Al Saloom and Ms. Wedad Lootah who were gracious enough to appear in our documentary.
Why the main topic of “Gamboo3a”?
The gamboo3a first came to our attention in an episode of “Sha3beyat Al Cartoon” in 2008. I believe that was the first time it was referred to as the “gamboo3a”, before that it was known as “Hijab Bu Nafkha”. It has been over three years since the gamboo3a phenomenon became a topic of interest in the UAE so we thought it’s a contemporary social issue that we could tackle in the form of a documentary, especially because it has become widespread although it does not represent us nor our culture.
Can you define Gamboo3a for our non-Emirati Readers?
Basically, the gamboo3a is a flower-shaped hair clip that is placed over the crown of a girl’s head to add volume beneath the shayla. Religiously, it is forbidden but girls continue to wear it although our documentary deals more with the mockery people made out of it, be it caricatures or SMS jokes, rather than the religious aspect.
Do you believe it’s a Gulf trending topic?
It’s definitely a Gulf trending topic, although I can see that it has become common not only among Khaleejis but also among non-Khaleeji Arabs residing in the GCC. I am not sure where in the Gulf this trend began but it must have been small and unrecognizable at first, till it became big enough to raise eyebrows and found a label for itself and that is the “gamboo3a”. I believe the majority do not support this trend and that is why it will fade sooner or later, but there’s no denying that it has opened doors for many more bizarre trends to come.
Where will you showcase the documentary?
Our film will premiere at the 5th Gulf Film Festival between the 10th and the 16th of April this year. We are also submitting it to other film festivals in the region and eventually it will be made available online for people to see.
Anything you’d like to add?
We hope that we did justice to the subject and that people will enjoy it as we tried to handle it in a light-hearted manner, the film showcases opposing views so you will also find people who support this trend; we tried not to favor one view over the other. We presented the topic as it is and it is up to the audience to decide what they think.
Check out the “Gamboo3a Revolution” Trailer/Teaser below:
For more information, check out the Gamboo3a Revolution’s Facebook Page
- Khaleejesque Staff