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Arabic Books that Should be Made into Movies

Adaptations Arabic arts Books cairo Culture egypt films movies novels
Arabic Books that Should be Made into Movies
written by
Nada Medhat
Via Parade

With anticipation overflowing to the brink of spilling for the newly released Egyptian film Kera wel Gen starring Kareem Abl Al-Aziz and Ahmed Ezz, we’re reminded of how books adapted into movies are almost always a huge success in Egypt. From Naguib Mahfouz’s many books to Ahmed Mourad’s and a dozen others, those movies always have something especially strong, a neater sense of writing and literary quality that makes them stand out in the market and for audiences. 

Here are four Arabic books we think would make great movies and follow suit!

Azazel by Youssef Ziedan

The 2009 Arabic Booker winner is the first on our list. Taking place across Egypt and Syria, moving across deserts and monasteries, this novel of spiritual journey, the search for truth, theological battles and difficult choices can be made into a great epic film. With a strong protagonist who has a striking voice and even stronger dialogues, the translation to screen would surely be captivating.

The Golden Chariot by Salwa Bakr

As a mostly introspective work, it won’t easily be translated to screen, but that doesn’t mean that in the right hands it could be one of the most creative and interesting movies of the year. In a clammy prison cell, sits a woman who decides to build a golden chariot that will carry her and her fellow prisoners to heaven, but first, she must decide on which prisoners. Thus, the book delves into the stories of various inmates, their crimes and their dreams.

HWJN by Ibraheem Abbas


The only non-Egyptian Arabic novel on this list, the Saudi Arabian work mixes romance, fantasy, and science-fiction to a captivating result. From the point of view of a jin whose life is scattered due to the human population spreading in his village, it’s a work that questions humanity, love, and what we do – for better or for worse – for the people we care about. On film (granted with decent production budget and good CGI) it can be both visually and substantially a great work. 

Like Icraus by Ahmed Khalid Tawfik 

Mysterious and gloomy, with a brooding, alienated, and most certainly unique man at the centre, scattered across different time lines, you can imagine how great of a story this would be to watch on the big screen. With grand themes of human hubris and the cost for truth and knowledge, mythological imagery, and fantastical atmosphere, this book is just waiting to be made into a film!