Still from Ahla El Awqat
It’s been two decades since the cinematic landscape in Egypt was graced with one of its most iconic years. 2004 was a remarkable chapter in Egyptian cinema, marked by outstanding productions that made it an exceptional period and showcased a noteworthy diversity in genres. From heart-wrenching tragedies to light-hearted romantic comedies, 2004 gifted us unforgettable films that have become cherished favourites. Here are movies you won’t believe we first watched 20 years ago!
Hob El banat
Image via Filfan
The iconic romantic comedy Hob El Banat is a timeless favourite. Bringing Hob el Banat to Girls’ Night in 2024 is a must; the movie has touched all of us with its stellar cast and heartwarming plot. Ghada, Roqaya, and Nada presented three different stories, each with its moral takeaway, presented through a light plot that stuck with us. One of the movie’s highlights is the background music, which we can easily recognise all those years after the film’s release.
Image via Elcinema
Inspired by Romeo & Juliet, Hobak Nar gave us the iconic on-screen couple Nelly Karim and Moustafa Amar. With its tragic plot, the movie stole the spotlight upon its release.
Baheb El Cima
Image via NetFlix
Directed by Osama Fawzy, Baheb El Cima was considered one of the decade’s most controversial movies. Tackling internal conflicts regarding faith from an Orthodox Christian approach, the film sent the Egyptian cinema scene into a frenzy. However, not even the staunchest of haters of this film can deny that it is a timeless masterpiece and a must-watch from Egyptian cinema.
Ahla El Awqat
Image via Arageek
No film encapsulates the essence of nostalgia and nuance of coping with grief like Ahla El Awqat. The enduring popularity of its memorable catchphrase, “’aayza ward ya Ibrahim” (“I want flowers, Ibrahim”), is a testament to the film’s timeless status. From its stellar cast to its compelling storyline and unforgettable soundtrack, this movie remains a quintessential exploration of emotion and memory.
Sana Oula Nasb
Image via NetFlix
While looking for a fresh start, Khaled and Ahmed head to Hurghada, where they fall in love. With a young cast including Ahmed Ezz, Nour, Khaled Selim, Dalia El Behairy, and Hassan Hosny, and under the direction of Kamla Abo Zekry, the light-hearted movie charmed everyone with its storyline. Khaled Selim’s vocals in the film have left a lasting impression, finding a permanent spot on everyone’s playlist – especially during road trips.
Image via Elcinema
Gathering everyone’s favourite stars, Halet Hob starred Tamer Hosny, Hany Salama, Hend Sabry, Zeina, and Sherif Ramzy. The expectations for the movie were as high as ever, and it delivered. Bringing three couples and a different story for each, the movie took us through their highs and lows. We laughed, cried, and loved along with them. Halet Hob, up until this day, creates a “Halet Hob” (case of love) for everyone who watches it.
Image via NetFlix
Gifting us one of Egyptian cinema’s most iconic duos, Khalty Faransa starred Abla Kamel and Mona Zaky. Discussing poverty and corruption through comedy, the movie instantly found its way into everyone’s hearts and minds. From an emotional rollercoaster to moments of shock, this film is simply iconic.
Image via FilFan
Filmed in Alexandria, Sayee’ Bahr wasn’t just another Egyptian comedy but a masterpiece that made us fall in love with the Pearl of the Mediterranean. Starring Ahmed Helmy and Yasmine Abdelaziz, the movie is still widely streamed 20 years later.
El Basha Telmeez
Image via elcinema
A cop on a mission to eliminate a drug dealership in one of Cairo’s university campuses finds himself among the “cool kids” and meets the love of his life. Will he accomplish his mission, or will he lose himself? El Basha Telmeez starred Karim Abdel Aziz and Ghada Adel. Shedding light on drug abuse coated in comedy and delightful memes made the movie one of the decade’s best films.
Image via MisrArabiaFilm
Among Nelly Karim’s first films, Enta ‘Omry is one of the love stories we will never get over. Through ups and downs, moral conflicts, and a bit of dance, the movie indulges the spectator in a love story full of dilemmas.
‘Aarees Men Geha Amneya
Image via Akwam
Starring Adel Emam, Lebleba, Sherif Mounir, and Hala Shiha, ‘Aarees Men Geha Amneya features a heartwarming love story with a jealous father in the background trying to protect his only daughter. Through comedy, the movie sheds light on toxic parenthood, all delivering some good laughs. The movie’s moral takeaway, given by the film’s end, leaves the audience in fits of laughter.
Image via El Cinema
Set between Cairo and Turkey, Okal is a comedy starring Mohamed Saad, Nour, and Hassan Hosny. Okal, a simple man, gets dragged into a mess with a massive Egyptian-Turkish mafia group. As he navigates this situation and a love story, Okal faces problems he didn’t expect. The thriller-comedy was among the first of its kind in Egypt and clicked with its audience.
Fool El Seen El ‘Aazeem
Image via LahaMagazine
Another thriller-comedy movie that took over in 2004 was Fool El Seen El ‘Aazeem. Starring Mohamed Henedy, Mohy finds himself seeking asylum in China and has to face his fears on the other side of the world by himself. The movie is a comedic masterpiece with a thrilling plot that will keep you on your toes.