Episode 6

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Refugees flock to Jabalein as General Najem begins another authority campaign on his side of the border. As families line up to enter, Noura decides to protect her neighbors in need, despite the burden on her own people.  But her hospitality isn’t received well by the General, and he threatens to cut off Jabalein’s water if his citizens aren’t returned. With residents feeling passed over, Noura travels to the villages to ask for patience and calm, while Bassem stokes public criticism back in the capital. Plans for the President’s Youth Ambassador position are also moving forward, and Noura is determined to engage youth directly in her administration.  In the whirlwind of recent events, Jamal seems to have lost his place at the table, and Noura increasingly isolates him from her world.  Maya meanwhile trades words for action and organizes a collection drive for the refugees. She and her friends work with local agencies to distribute supplies, and her enthusiasm prompts Omar to submit her name for the new Ambassador position. In such uncertain times, everyone needs something or someone to hold onto. And for the first time in a long time, that someone might just be the President. For Maya, that is a security in and of itself.

Episode 7

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“Refugee crisis” is the phrase heard around Jabalein, and the country suffers the side effects of hosting their neighboring evacuees.  True to his threat, General Najem cuts national water supplies, causing  brownouts and critical water shortages throughout the country. To make matters worse, armed thugs overtake a food supply convoy on its way to the camp. Police round up suspects from nearby villages, but farmers chafe at their accusations and communities begin to split at the seams. Meanwhile Jadal Café is divided over Maya’s surprise Youth Ambassador nomination. Maya blows off the idea, a complete absurdity. But Omar challenges her fear of trying, and convinces her to attend the President’s emergency town hall meeting. As Noura engages the farmers’ genuine concerns, Maya and Sarah are humbled by their hardships, and witness a political rarity: a two sided conversation. Though years of toothless rhetoric have hollowed the country’s trust, sometimes a promise represents a personal commitment to keep trying. And while Maya remains wary of government’s moral compass, Noura won’t stop making promises, nor exhausting herself to fulfill them.

Episode 8

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During a routine land survey, geologist Dr. Fadi discovers hot springs that could free Jabalein from the General’s resource restrictions and continued retribution. But just as Samar announces the diplomatic breakthrough, a reporter unearths Dr. Fadi’s family friendship with the President, and twists Samar’s words to fit his headline. With calls of nepotism steaming the airwaves, the situation nearly boils over when pictures of Samar and Rafiq’s date surface in the newspaper. Caught in an equally vulnerable position, Omar has finally declared his feelings to Maya, who for her part is focused on her case against Dr. Fadi.  Maya’s accusations threaten her standing with the President, and when Dr. Fadi confronts her misinformation, she apologizes to her followers, and the President herself.   Experience inevitably colors Maya’s perceptions, but the danger lies in seeing only what we have seen before. With her eyes open and expectations cleared, Maya promises to maintain her grip on the facts, even if they don’t spell the story she usually tells. But it is hard to misinterpret Noura and the General shaking hands. On his private jet. If history plays judge, Jabalein will know soon enough. 

Episode 9

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General Najem has signed on to fund Jabalein’s first geothermal energy plant, marking an end to his threats and the countrywide drought. It’s the long awaited escape, the answer to unanswerable concessions. But Noura can’t seem to convince citizens of the deal’s big picture benefits, and disagreements are growing personal.  Samar lambasts Rafiq’s coverage of the agreement, while Maya and Omar quarrel on how to stir the pots of change. Both manage to catch the president’s attention; Maya’s launches a boycott of products from the General’s country, a creative form of protest, and Omar organizes a very public demonstration, an illegal one.  To protestors’ surprise, Noura orders their arrest for violating public property, and Omar spends a night in jail contemplating Maya’s place in his life, if she still wants one. Bassem meanwhile seems dangerously supportive of the President’s recent turn, until he reveals his designs on Malik for the upcoming election. With the country unsure where right and wrong begin, Maya is left pondering the tango we dance between moral certainties. Black and white are easier to distinguish, but the truth usually lies somewhere amidst the shades of grey.

Episode 10

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President Sa’ad must decide her future in office, and the decision is keeping her up at night. She has lost and gained ground in different demographics, and the country still faces so many problems. With the people behind her, she could really make an impact, but how to convince them that the country can really change? Complicating matters further, Sarah’s father announced his permanent move to Paris, and Noura can’t bear to further complicate her daughter’s life. Facing her own fork in the road, Maya asks her followers if she should accept the Youth Ambassador position, but their opinions only muddle her mood further. Omar would know what to do, if only he wasn’t avoiding her. Meanwhile Samar finally learns what brought Rafiq back from war.  Rafiq completely loses it on set, and his anger leaves Samar with more questions than answers.  After days of worry, the two women are left contemplating the hazards of decision making. When an opportunity could change the course of your life, is a safe choice is really the safest bet?

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