The beginning of the holy month of Ramadan always signals the beginning of the intense TV channel war over viewership in Egypt. Cairo 360 is pleased to bring you the Ramadan guide to the most anticipated TV shows hitting your screens this month.
Al Rayan tells the true story of the spectacular rise and fall of Egyptian businessman Ahmed El Rayan, who devised a Ponzi scheme similar to Bernie Madoff’s. Apart from the scandal that sent Al Rayan to jail, the show will look at his life over a thirty-year period, his relationship with powerful government figures and the economical state of Egypt during that time.
The show is written by Hazem El Hadidi and Mohamed El Bazawi, and directed by Sherene Adel. The show stars Khaled Saleh, Salah Abdallah and Reham Abdel Ghafour. It will be shown on Al Hayat channel.
Ana Al Quds (I am Jerusalem) addresses the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, looking at Jerusalem during the early 1900s until the Israeli occupation in 1967. This unique approach will take viewers on a ride that starts at 1917 and will show life in Jerusalem in a way that the world seems to have forgotten.
Written by Taleed and Basel El Khateeb, and directed by the latter, the show will star Egyptian actor Farouk El Fishawy, as well as Abeer Sabry, Abed Fahd and Kariss Bashar. It will be shown on Al Hayat channel.
Adam focuses on a 25-year old by the same name; the son of a diligent and modest worker who is often forced to compromise his integrity to put food on his family’s table. As a figure that represents the continuing struggle for young Egyptians to build a life, Adam is forced into one drastic decision after another, as his desperate measure land him in trouble.
Egyptian pop star Tamer Hosny stars as the eponymous character alongside May Ezeldin, Hassan Hosny, Ahmed Zaher and Afaf Shoeib. Written by Ahmed Abo Seid and directed by Mohamed Sami, the show will be on Al Nahar TV.
Qesas El Hayawan fe El Quran (Stories of Animals from the Quran) is a half-hour animated series based on the works of famous Egyptian writer Ahmed Bahgat that shows exactly what the title suggests of it. Veteran Egyptian actor Yehia El Fakharany plays the role of the storyteller in this religious series aimed at kids, and is joined by Sawsan Badr. The animated series is directed by Mostafa El Faramawy, and will be shown on Al Hayat channel.
Maktoob ala El Gabein (It’s Written on Your Forehead) is this Ramadan’s social drama. The story follows Nesma; a young woman who dares to disobey her father as he wishes to marry her off. Nesma has her own plans, though; as she fights for the chance to be with the man she loves.
May Selim will star in the series in her first major role, and is joined by Hussein Fahmy and Mahmoud El Gendy. The series will be shown on both Al Hayat and Nile Drama, and is written by Mohamed Al Hamawy and directed by Hussein Omara.
Al Shaware’ Al Khalfeya (The Back Streets) is yet another period drama: a military officer in the 1930s struggles to raise his two daughters alone while finding himself attracted to his neighbour. The story is an adaptation of Abdel Rahman El Sharkawy’s novel of the same name, and stars Mahmoud El Sharnouby, Mahmoud El Gendy and Gehan Fadel. It will be shown on the Egyptian State channels, as well as CBC.
Lahzet Melad (The Moment of Birth) focuses on the daily life of an Egyptian family as they struggle to survive in the face of government corruption, mass unemployment and rising prices in the lead up to the revolution. Actress Sabrine stars alongside Kamal Abou Reih and Ahmed Khail. The show, which will be shown on Nile Drama, is written by Samah Al Hariri and directed by Walid Abdelal.
There aren’t as many biographical series hitting the screens as there usually is, but in Shahroora, we have a autobiography on the legendary Lebanese songstress Sabah. As an aspiring young singer, Sabah left her home for Egypt to follow her dreams, and the show follows her astonishing rise to fame.
If you’ve seen the posters or the adverts of Shahroora, you’ll have seen the uncanny likeness that Carol Samah has to Sabah, and we hope her performance is just as good, as she stars alongside a host of big-name actors from the Arab world. The daunting task of making a script out of Sabah’s life was charged to Fada Al Shandooly, and is directed by Ahmed Shafik.
Noona El Mazoona is a social comedy about a young woman who insists on following in her father’s footsteps as she fights to become a marriage clerk; a role that is traditionally dominated by men. The show highlights and critiques marriage customs and traditions humorously.
Hanan Turk stars in the lead role with Ragaa El Gedawy, Amira El Ayady and Saeed Tarabik. Written by Fathy El Gendy and directed by Manal El Seify, the show will be on the Egyptian State TV channels, as well as Al Nahar channel.
Last year’s El Kebir Awi (The Really Powerful) is back this Ramadan with a second series, despite rumours suggesting that the comedy series would not be broadcast after star Ahmed Mekki injured himself while filming last Ramadan. The show, which is directed by Islam Khairy, also stars Donia Samir Ghanem and Mohamad Shaheen, and will be shown on several state and satellite channels.
Last but not least, Al Zinaty Megahed tells the story of the title character and his comical quest to register himself as a citizen in order to marry the love of his life. Needless to say, it is easier said than done. Starring in this rom-com is Sameh Hussein, Haala Fakher, Abdallah Mosharaf and Yusuf Dawood. It will be shown on Al Hayat TV, and it is written by Mohsen Rezk and directed by Asad Foladakar.
There you go Cairo, happy Ramadan TV watching!