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  • Mariana Baião Santos

Thalia Elansari – A Rising Star

Championing diversity, representation, and empowerment.





Thalia Elansari is a rising star of the entertainment industry, celebrated for her breakthrough role in ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Season 2. She’s a tremendous young talent, yet it is her passionate advocacy for diversity and empowerment that captivate attention.


As Jordan’s burgeoning entertainment landscape continues to evolve, with ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ topping the charts on Netflix, Thalia Elansari’s ascent stands as a testament to talent, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence. Rising through Amman’s vibrant cultural scene, her journey to prominence has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by her standout debut performance as Shams in the acclaimed second chapter of the series.


For Elansari (Instagram), the journey into acting was serendipitous, marked by an opportunity seized with steadfast determination. “To be honest, it was something new to me. I stumbled upon it,” she reveals with disarming honesty. “I took it as more of a challenge, like, ‘Okay, this is something that’s out of my comfort zone.’”, this drove her ambition further rather than holding her back. Recounting the moment she learned of her casting, Elansari’s excitement is palpable “It was crazy,” she recalls, her eyes sparkling with nostalgia. “Oh, my God, there’s no way. And I shared that moment with my mum, because I was on the phone in the kitchen. I was like, ‘Do you hear this, right?’”.


As Shams, the actress’ portrayal captivated audiences with its depth and authenticity, earning her widespread acclaim. Yet, amidst the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, Elansari remains grounded, balancing filming with studying. The shooting occurred alongside her Year 11, and she returned to class the days she was not required on set, “My life was just two things: acting and studying; there was no time for any other interactions”, a disciplined attitude enabled her to allocate her time efficiently, and it’s paid off. “I’m very happy,” she shares.


Despite the initial challenges of portraying a character whose mannerisms and behaviours contrasted with her own, Elansari delved deep into Shams’ psyche, constructing a rich backstory to inform her performance. By exploring Shams’ family dynamics, past traumas, and daily interactions, Elansari cultivated a profound understanding of her character’s motivations and complexities. This process allowed her to authentically inhabit Shams’ persona, ensuring a nuanced and compelling portrayal on screen, she talks about the use of lookbooks and playlists to help her get into character. As much as Elansari poured into Shams, the roles also reversed as she tells us enthusiastically about her newly acquired video skills and the purchase of her first camera, saying  “I also did not know how to ride a bike, so I had to learn, and now I bought my own bike and I’m like: This is actually fun.”





Elansari’s face lights up as she recalls one of her most cherished moments on set. “There was this skateboard scene in episode four that I absolutely loved. The vibes of that day were astronomical, because everyone had their own specific thing, there were dancers and skateboarders. It was such a fun atmosphere.” Asked about her skateboarding skills in the scene, she chuckles, “I didn’t have much experience before, I guess back in 2020, there was this phase where everyone would learn how to skateboard and I got deeply invested in that, but I never could get past this one move – which was an ollie – so I got stuck and just gave up eventually,” she laughs.


“Jordan is small, so everyone knows everything,” she says. The impact of starring in a series, especially as a newcomer to the acting scene, can be monumental, both personally and professionally. Elansari, reflecting on her experience with the series, shares about  the whirlwind of emotions she experienced as it premiered. Despite the nerves and uncertainties that accompanied her debut, the overwhelmingly positive response from viewers served as a validation of her talent and dedication. Elansari recounts how she returned to school the day after the series premiered, bracing herself for the reactions of her classmates – the reception exceeded her expectations, with an outpouring of supportive comments and messages. This flood of encouragement bolstered her confidence and solidified her resolve to further pursue acting. As she navigates her final year of school alongside her burgeoning career, Elansari finds herself at a pivotal juncture, poised to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.


Created by the renowned Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls explores uncharted territory within the Arab world, building upon the themes of teenage girlhood explored in its previous season, the show continues to shed light on narratives often overlooked by mainstream media. Elansari views her portrayal of Shams as an important opportunity to authentically represent the struggles and triumphs of young women.

“It honestly feels like an honour,” she muses, her words laden with humility and sincerity. Alongside her gratitude lies a fervent determination to utilise her platform for meaningful impact, with a keen awareness of the struggles faced by teenage girls, Elansari is resolute in her mission to advocate for their empowerment and well-being. Drawing from her own experiences, she is acutely attuned to how  the series’ themes resonate beyond the borders of Jordan and the Middle East. As she envisions the far-reaching impact of her portrayal, Elansari emphasises the universality of the show’s message, transcending cultural boundaries to affirm the inherent worth and solidarity with all girls.





She underscores the significance of AlRawabi School for Girls in presenting nuanced and multifaceted female characters. Moreover, she lauds the gender diversity within the crew, noting the substantial representation of women both behind and in front of the camera. This commitment to inclusivity and gender equality represents a pivotal shift in the landscape of Arab cinema. “Women, we can also do this,” Elansari continues, saying that by showcasing the talents and contributions of women in all aspects of production, the series not only challenges entrenched gender norms but also amplifies the voices of underrepresented storytellers. In championing the notion that women possess the same creative prowess and leadership potential as their male counterparts, the series serves as a beacon of progress and empowerment in entertainment, she says.


Elansari’s impassioned plea for aspiring actors resounds with a powerful call to embrace challenges and step out of one’s comfort zone. In her words, she implores young talents to navigate discomfort with resilience, recognising that having to endure challenges is a precursor to attaining enduring comfort. Drawing attention to the all-too-familiar narrative of talented individuals abandoning their aspirations due to self-doubt, she urges against surrendering to such internal conflicts. Elansari advocates for seizing every opportunity, wholeheartedly investing oneself in the pursuit of the dream without reservation. Her advocacy extends beyond the confines of gender or geographical location, emphasising that the path to success in the acting and film industry is, and should be, equally open to all.


Shomali’s insights and writing around social media, which inform much of Season Two of AlRawabi School for Girls, resonate deeply with Elansari’s observations on the topic. The show delves into the darker aspects of social media, illustrating how it can perpetuate negative emotions such as obsession and envy, and lead to online bullying. By depicting the blurred lines between characters’ lives and their online personas, the series challenges the notion that everything presented on social media is authentic. This narrative mirrors Elansari’s concerns about its impact on young girls’ self-esteem and identity formation, “Social media and its impact on young girls’ lives can be quite degrading. Just opening those apps, you see women portrayed as champions, but it’s hard to be certain about what’s real. Are these images edited?”


Elansari acknowledges that her increased visibility and success have heightened her sense of responsibility to promote representation and serve as a role model for others. Amid the flood of sweet and thoughtful messages from fans, she recognises the weight of responsibility that comes with her growing influence. Steering clear of the pitfalls of comparison culture, Elansari aims to use her voice to guide her followers in a more empowering direction. She refuses to be seen merely as an idealised figure to be emulated, advocating instead for authenticity and self-acceptance. With a desire to address important issues such as mental health, Elansari is poised to leverage her growing platform to inspire positive change in her audience.


The actress is overwhelmed by the outpouring of creativity and kindness from fans of the show. She marvels at the talent of artists who have shared their illustrations inspired by her character and the series, sparking a desire within her to explore her own artistic skills. “People have been so kind”, the heartfelt messages and words of encouragement from fans reaffirm her belief in the positive impact of her hard work. Elansari expresses her gratitude for the supportive community that has formed around the show, emphasising her admiration for each fan who has reached out to share their appreciation for the series.


Discussing her future aspirations, she says, “Looking ahead, there are a lot of things I want to accomplish in my life. First off, I do want to explore acting more, I want to build an acting career for myself.” Despite her budding success in film, Elansari remains grounded in her academic pursuits. “I do want to finish school and I want to go to university,” she affirms. “Because I’ve worked so hard, I’m not going to throw that away. I’m going major into PPLE, which is Politics, Philosophy, Law and Economics,” she says of her plans come September.


Thalia Elansari emerges not only as a talented actress, but also as an inspiration for aspiring artists and young women alike. From her breakout role in AlRawabi School for Girls to her impassioned advocacy for gender equality and mental health awareness, Elansari ‘s journey reflects a blend of determination, resilience, and a commitment to personal growth. Her ability to seamlessly embody complex characters on screen is matched only by her genuine desire to make a positive impact on the world around her. As she navigates the intersection of fame, academia, and societal expectations, Elansari remains unwavering in her pursuit of excellence, embracing challenges with grace and enthusiasm. With a promising future ahead, in the realm of entertainment and beyond, Elansari stands poised to leave an indelible mark on the world stage. “And as I said, I like challenges now.”


Originally published on YUNG Magazine.

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