Away from the hustle and bustle of Cairo and its crowded streets, there is a parallel world where late-night magic and the serenity of that city come out to life. Scrolling through Instagram, I randomly came across beautiful illustrations depicting Cairo from a different angle. Created by artist Ahmed Saad, the short animation series takes us into a state of peace, tranquility, and longing where simple animations and the choice of music together create a soothing mood.
Saad is a screenwriter who has worked on several TV programs and series such as ‘El Wasseya’, ‘Badal El Hadouta 3’ and currently working ‘Helwa El Donia Sokar’, and has previous experience in advertisement where he worked as a creative director and a copywriter. These illustrations of Cairo at night were not part of his working portfolio but rather his own escape from deadlines, busy schedules, and endless work.
“I started this series of videos in a time when stress was taking over my life and had to work days on end. So, I was escaping all those deadlines reimagining those peaceful nighttime moments in Cairo through simple animations and music that left me with feelings of longing.” said Saad to Egypt Today
The first of the series was a depiction of an Egyptian kiosk and his owner followed by a video revisiting the 80s from the top of Mokkatam overlooking the city lights with Mohamed Mounir’s ‘Shababeek’ playing on the background. Not long after posting these videos that they drew much attention over the internet.
‘I was surprised with the feedback I received from people because when I created this series I was not focused on likes and shares but rather wanted to create something everyone can relate to. I was also a bit unsure about the choice of the music as the taste is totally different nowadays, but then I became very happy when I received messages from people telling me that the animation and music together has put them in a calming mood, which is the very reason why I created these illustrations in the first place.’ he adds.
When asked if he would carry on with more illustrations with the same concept he explained ‘I honestly don’t want to abuse the idea or pressure myself with having to post something new frequently especially that a video like this, though looks simple, can take a whole day. I would rather take my time in creating quality art rather than being rushed into providing more content to generate more likes and shares.’
Through these illustrations, Ahmed has succeeded in creating a different mood and state just by reliving simple moments of Cairo at night harnessing all the right elements and we are patiently for what’s coming next.