The Cairo 360 Guide to Ramadan TV: The Month’s Top Shows
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
There you go Cairo, happy Ramadan TV watching!