Political shows took over the 2013 soap opera scene like a "Heat Wave"
The soaps the stole the scene in 2013
Click here to add Abdul Ridha and Saudi as an alert
Disable alert for Abdul Ridha and Saudi,
Click here to add Abed Fahd as an alert
Disable alert for Abed Fahd,
Click here to add Adel Imam as an alert
Disable alert for Adel Imam,
Click here to add Al-Bait Aboona as an alert
Disable alert for Al-Bait Aboona,
Click here to add Al-Wiladah Min Al-Kh as an alert
Disable alert for Al-Wiladah Min Al-Kh,
Click here to add Dubai as an alert
Disable alert for Dubai,
Click here to add Hayat Al-Fahd as an alert
Disable alert for Hayat Al-Fahd,
Click here to add Hussein Abdul Ridha as an alert
Disable alert for Hussein Abdul Ridha,
Click here to add Jamal Ismail as an alert
Disable alert for Jamal Ismail,
Click here to add Khaled Al-Sawi as an alert
Disable alert for Khaled Al-Sawi,
Click here to add Minbar Al-Mawtaa as an alert
Disable alert for Minbar Al-Mawtaa,
Click here to add Muslim Brotherhood as an alert
Disable alert for Muslim Brotherhood,
Click here to add Nasser al-Qassabi as an alert
Disable alert for Nasser al-Qassabi,
Click here to add Nidhal Sejri as an alert
Disable alert for Nidhal Sejri,
Click here to add Noor Al-Shareef as an alert
Disable alert for Noor Al-Shareef,
Click here to add Qussay Khouli as an alert
Disable alert for Qussay Khouli,
Click here to add Saleem Kallas as an alert
Disable alert for Saleem Kallas,
Click here to add Sulaiman Al-Tayib as an alert
Disable alert for Sulaiman Al-Tayib
The year just gone by has been a lackluster time for Arab soap operas. But, despite the disappointing performance, there were several political soaps that garnered attention in the region.
Al-Riyadh Arabic daily summarized the most important shows to be shown in the Arab world.
The most popular shows aired in 2013 were centered on the Arab Spring, its causes, outcomes and effects. Surprisingly, Egypt and Syria were in the forefront as far as Arab spring soap operas were concerned despite the turmoil engulfing both the nations.
Last Ramadan, several soap operas were aired, the most important being “Hot Wave” (Mowjah Harrah) that traced the events leading to the Jan. 25 Egyptian revolution. Also, the serial “On the Precipice” (Ala Kaff Ifreet) with Khaled Al-Sawi as the main character, centered around influential officials in Egypt following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. “Underground” (Tahat Al-Ardh) exposed the role that Egyptian security forced played before the revolution in several operations that created social upheaval.
In “Godfather” (Al-Arraf), actor Adel Imam is shown benefiting from the outbreak of the revolution by plotting his escape from jail and subsequent exploitation of the collapse of the state security apparatus to carry out one of the biggest scams in the country.
Actress Ilham Shaheen presented a mocking view of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood through her role as an employee in a mental hospital. As for religious discourse, the serial “The Religious Caller” (Al-Da’iyah) by Hani Salamah, touched on the topic of extremism and “Khalafallah” starring actor Noor Al-Shareef, centered around a sheikh who treats people. He eventually gains a following believing the sheikh has extraordinary powers.
In “Live Coverage” (Taht Al-Hawa), viewers are taken to a broadcasting station where employees’ personal stances on the revolution and political loyalties affect their coverage of events going on across the country. In the hugely-controversial and pro-government serial “The Podium of the Dead” (Al-Wiladah Min Al-Khassirah: Minbar Al-Mawtaa), actors Qussay Khouli and Abed Fahd, portray events that led to the uprising. The serial’s main message was that the revolution is a mere crisis that can pass if the state remains intact.
Kuwaiti star Hussein Abdul Ridha and Saudi actor Nasser Al-Qassabi joined forces in the serial “The Millionaire” which was shown on MBC TV. Even though the serial had a large following, it was criticized for having a weak plot. The serial narrates the story of two brothers — a Kuwaiti and a Saudi, who live a life centered around money in Dubai.
Breaking a near 20-year hiatus, Suaad Abdullah and Hayat Al-Fahd appeared together in “Our Father’s House” (Al-Bait Aboona). The last show that brought the two actresses together was the comedy soap opera “Sulaiman Al-Tayib” in the 1990s that discussed many social issues.
The year 2013 was also a sad period for Arab cinema, which saw the death of Egyptian actor Jamal Ismail and Syrian actors Saleem Kallas and Nidhal Sejri.
- Ramadan-o-rama: 2013 Egyptian soaps are historical "artefacts"
- 2013: The remarkable Arab artists we lost this year
- Debated Soap Opera Line-up Shows for Ramadan
- current political crisis in Indonesia over corruption
- Once underground in Egypt, now flying high across the world: independent music scene is soaring