The secret of Raya and Iskeena’s success
The big surprise and success of the Ramadan dramas is "Raya and Iskeena," starring Egyptian actresses Abla Kamel and Summaya Al Khashab, and aired by the Arab satellite channel MBC.
The series tells the tale of two of the most dangerous and ruthless female murderers of the first half of the twentieth century.
Viewers and critics alike waited anxiously for the first episode to be aired in order to compare it with the well known movie and play.
According to the London based Elaph, the series was well received by both camps since the story of the drama was an adaptation of the book by novelist Salah Eisa, that tells the real life story of the two sisters, including their personal history.
The book reveals details that were not previously known, such as how the two sisters reached the desperate stage of committing heinous crimes, and how the Egyptians of the time could not conceive that two sisters could have the ability to murder innocent women and bury them in their basement, while stealing their money and jewelry.
The more graphic details have captivated audiences, for example, one of the sisters "Iskeena" was an alcoholic who resorted to prostitution to purchase liquor.
The drama presents the characters in a manner that makes viewers sympathize with them, making it the most popular of the Ramadan dramas.
The Egyptian Television Network refused to grant "Raya and Iskeena" permission to be aired on it local channels, stressing that it contains too much violence, profanity, and inappropriate scenes for the average viewer.
Although, director Jamal Abdul Hameed has denied rumors that the reason behind the Egyptian television network’s refusal to air the drama was due to the provocative nature of the series.