CAIRO – 1 May – 2018: It’s that time of year again where we’ll be glued to our TVs—or more likely our phones and iPads—trying to cram in as many episodes of mosalsalat (soaps) produced for the peak viewing season that is Ramadan.
It’s too early to decide who the forerunners this year will be, but after the runaway success of Kalabsh (Handcuffs) and Zel El-Rais (The President’s Shadow), all eyes are on Amir Karara and Yasser Galal. Safe bets are also likely to be the stalwarts of the season, with Nelly Karim, Youssra, Adel Imam and Ghada Abdelrazeq all headlining series.
One to watch out for is Bel-Hagm El-Aaeely (Family Size), which sees megastars Mervat Amin and Yehia El-Fakharany teaming up for a much-hyped comedy series. Here are our picks and pans:
1- “Nesr El Saeed” (Hawk of Upper Egypt)
Starring Mohamed Ramadan, Dorra, Sayed Ragab, Wafaa Amer, Dina, Mahmoud El-Leithy, this series revolves around a police officer named Zain, played by Mohamed Ramadan, who lives in Qena and is married to a Cairene girl (Dorra) against the will of her family. After a fierce confrontation with an Upper Egyptian businessman involved in illegal business, Zain suddenly turns into a prisoner fighting to prove his innocence.
After his runaway success last Ramadan in Zel El-Rais (The President’s Shadow), this year Yasser Galal plays Rahim, an Egyptian businessman who works in money laundering and dollar smuggling. After a short stint in prison, Rahim discovers his wealth has been seized and his family are gone. The series, which co-stars Nour, Mohamed Riad, Hassan Hosny, Rogina and Dina, follows Rahim’s journey of revenge and the quest to locate his family.
Nelly Karim teams up with Hisham Selim for Ekhtefa’ where a university professor (played by Karim) is living with her husband in Russia, when he suddenly disappears. Her search brings her to Egypt where she uncovers many surprises. Basma, Mohamed Mamdouh and Mohamed Alaa co-star in this suspense drama written and directed by Ahmed Medhat.
“Fouq El-Sahab” (Over the Clouds)
Starring Hany Salama, Stephanie Saleeba and Ibrahim Nasr, this series revolves around a poor young man who falls in love with a girl but is unable to marry her due to tough circumstances. He travels abroad to look for a job and comes back a wicked person.
“Kalabsh Part II” (Handcuffs, Part II)
Following his great success last Ramadan, Amir Karara returnsas the brave police officer Selim El-Ansari, who is now promoted to the supervisor of Aqrab prison. His life turns upside down when his parents are killed and he is seriously wounded by the killer. Rogina and Hala Fakher co-star.
“Ladayna Akwal Okhra” (We Have other Testimonies)
The series tells the story of legal counsellor Mervat Mahran, played by Yousra, whose life tis ripped apart after an accident involving her son. Sherine Reda and Naglaa Badr co-star in this drama directed by Mohamed Aly and written by Abdallah Hassan.
“Abu Omar Al-Masry”
Egyptian lawyer Fakhreldin, played by Ahmed Ezz, founds an association, along with a group of other lawyers, to seek solutions to the problems of modest citizens who cannot afford big-shot law-yers and their excessive fees. However, it is not long until they provoke a member of the security services who wants to stop their dream of an ideal society. After Fakhreldin survives an assasination attempt in which his cousin is killed, he travels to Paris; then to Sudan where he becomes the leader of an armed Islamic group and returns for revenge. The series is written by Ezzeldin Shoukry and Mariam Naoum and co-stars Arwa Gouda and Fathy Abdelwahab.
“ Awalem Khafeya “ (Hidden Worlds)
Fathy Abdelwahab, Bushra, Rania Farid Shawky and Salah Abdallah join the iconic Adel Imam who plays a prominent writer and novelist strongly attached to his family. When he comes across confidential documents incriminating high government officials, the writer insists on publishing them, putting his own life and his family in danger. Ramy Imam directs this series penned by Amin Gamal.
“Ard El-Nefaq” (Land of Hypocrisy)
Directed by Sameh Abdelaziz and Mohamed Gamal Eladl, this series is based on a story penned by the late writer Youssef El Sebai. Massoud, a humble worker (played by Mohamed Heneidy), is constantly suffering because of his modest income. One day, he comes across a professor who offers him “morality pills,” which completely change his character, and consequently his life. The series is scripted by Ahmed Abdallah and stars Hana Shiha, Dalal Abdelaziz, Poussy and for the first time as an actor, veteran Egyptian writer Ibrahim Eissa.
Mostafa Shaaban plays Ayoub, a bank employee who is wrongly accused of corruption and imprisoned. He is released and begins to seek revenge. Ayten Amer, Hassan Hosny, Mohamed Lotfy, Merihan Hussein and Hana El Zahed co-star.
“Bel-Hagm El-Aaeely” (Family Size)
The comedy series witnesses the comeback of two giants, Yehia ElFakharany and Mervat Amin, more than 30 years since their last cooperation. It revolves around retired ambassador Nader, who decides to follow his passion for food by opening a restaurant in a touristic village, where he is the main chef. The series is directed by Hala Khalil, written by Mohamed Ragaa and stars Yousra El Lozy, Ahmed Magdy and Ramzy Lehner.
“Dedd Maghoul” (Against the Unknown)
Ghada Abdelrazeq stars as Nada, a married middle-class banker who faces problems with her husband because of her time-consuming job. After they divorce, their daughter is raped and Nada decides to find the perpetrator herself. Hanan Motawe’, Rogina and Feras Said co-star in this suspense drama directed by Tarek Refaat and written by Ayman Salama.
Baraka (Amr Saad) settles in Cairo where he starts to get richer, but at the same time he gets involved in a lot of serious problem with influential people. The show also stars Hala Sedky, Kamal Abo Raya, Salah Abdallah and Rana Raies and is directed by Mahmoud Karim.
“Azmy and Ashgan”
Starring Hassan El-Raddad, Amy Samir Ghanem, Samir Ghanem, Nesrine Amin, Mohamed Tharwat and Malak Koura, this comedy soap opera is about a gang of two members, Azmi and Ashgan, who go through a series of funny situations, while being tailed by an officer tracking their every move.
Amr Youssef plays Tayea, a young man from Upper Egypt who graduated from faculty of medicine. Tayea has a strong opinion concerning revenge customs in Upper Egypt; and he suddenly finds himself involved in a number of crimes including antiquities smuggling. Seba Mubarak, Amr Abdelgeleel and Soheir El-Morshedy co-star in this drama directed by Amr Salama.