The Group Part II - from ON Drama
CAIRO - 16 July 2017: Scriptwriter Waheed Hamed figures as the real star of this interesting series. He did a great job documenting the history of the Muslim Brotherhood group in this second part of Al-Gama'a (means group), he exposed with fairness the dark history of this group.
The second part of the sequel that was screened during Ramadan, starts with the group in disarray after the assassination of their leader Hassan el-Banna in 1949. A new Supreme Leader, Judge Hassan el-Hodeiby, is chosen – played convincingly by the icon Abdel Aziz Makhyoon. The real purpose of the Brotherhood is not improving the society, but to reach power and Hodeiby’s ideas are clear on that issue.
The first episodes show the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser played brilliantly by Yasser El-Masry when he was a young Major in the Egyptian army, accused of being a member in the Brotherhood; an accusation that he denies, but the events that follow show indeed that he was a member of the Brotherhood.
His code name was “Zaghlool”; a fact that is criticized and denied by the Nasserist Party. Sami Sharaf, Nasser’s assistant, and the Nasserist party members refuse that fact with all their passion and power, they go on talk shows, write on the social media to give a different version glorifying their idol Nasser. Unfortunately, they are lying to the teeth.
The noticeable fact is that the members of the group did not object to the series. The attacks came from another front; the Wafd party. The incident of Mostafa Pacha El-Nahas, the Nation’s leader, elected prime minister, kissing the hand of King Farouk is denied by the Wafdists, but it did happen.
The series shows the limited mindset the group possesses towards society. Their main concern was veiling women, closing down movie theaters, stopping arts in general, because they believe it is against the rules of Islam.
Sayyid Qutb -played convincingly by Mohamed Faheem- the controversial figure of the group was a friend of Nasser. His books were among Nasser’s favorite readings. Qutb was a mason, a mediocre poet, belonged to a communist organization and ended up being an Islamic thinker believing in the most radical form of Islam. He is shown correctly as spiteful, hateful, jealous dictator in his regular daily life. Among his catastrophic ideas that was adopted into the core of the group notions, was that the whole society is faithless, godless and should be returning to Islam.
Refusing the concept of borders, communicating with the British in secret, hunger for power among themselves with their eye on Egypt’s throne, communicating with the American secret service, expose the opportunism of the group and how isolated they were from the political arena, where independence was the number one issue for Egyptians; They will alley themselves with the devil if it means that they will be in power. This line of thought has been established by Hassan el-Banna and followed by Hodeiby and Qutb.
Zeinab el-Ghazaly the mysterious and only female figure in the history of the Group played persuasively by the star Sabrine, is shown for the first time on TV. She was the link between the members of the group who have escaped to Saudi Arabia and those who were in Egypt. Her main role was collecting contributions and funding the various activities of the group including financing the assassination attempt of Nasser. A strong female among men who believe that are better than women by God’s decree, yet she was treated as a leader.
The series showed the torture that the Brotherhood suffered in the military prison under Nasser's rule. Nasser gave their case to Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer who was capable through the military intelligence and the torture techniques [flogging and use of wild dogs], to get complete admission of guilt of violent terrorist operations, assassination attempts and plotting to seize power; a fact that the Nasserists have always denied and always gave the Brotherhood chances to play martyrs and gain sympathy.
The visual and historical details are amazingly accurate. The royal red vehicle of king Farouk [only royal vehicles were allowed the red color]; costumes of royal army officers, the appearance of Nasser, Naguib, King Farouk, Sayyid Qutb is a testimony to the high level of skillfulness of the make-up artists. When Director Sherif el-Bendary used real footage of the actual personalities, viewers almost did not feel the difference. The insertion of historical footage made the series more believable and appealing to history buffs.
A third part of the series is planned to be produced, but no time frame has been set yet.