‘Hadith Al Sabah Wa Al Massa’.. Naguib Mahfouz’s Reading of Egypt’s History

Published December 11th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The 90th anniversary of the birthday of the Egyptian Noble prize wining writer Naguib Mahfouz coincided with the time of airing the series Hadith Al Sabah Wal Masaa (Morning and Evening Talk), according to AFP. 

The Ramadan series first part scripted by Mohsen Zayed and based on Mahfouz’s novel bearing the same title was directed by Ahmed Saqer within the historical context which Mahfouz sees in 200 years of the Egyptian history between the era of Mohammed Ali Pasha until the last ten years of the past millenium.  

Mahfouz wrote the history of six generations, which belong in origin to families that included 67 characters through narrating the story of each character separately. 

Although the writer maintained the characters historical features, he linked between them for artistic purposes through internal relations basically available in the narration in addition to the characters he added bringing their number to 120. 

Within the drama development context which highlights the emergence of new classes in the Egyptian society and the legitimacy of their ownership, Mahfouz and the script writer attempts to respond to Gamal Abdel Naser phenomenon and his resolutions concerning property confiscation and the destruction of social classes which contributed to the development of the country. 

The series tackles philosophical views included in Mahfouz novel regarding the relation between death and life and the Sufi’s move from life to death. This is in addition to fantasy imaging the return of those who died and highly estimating the value of work in life and defining the status of people accordingly. 

The series cost, according to the executive producer of the series Al A’dl Ghuroob amounted to four and a half million pounds (around one million dollar) most of which were pays for the actors including Laila Olwi who obtained 35,000 pounds (eight thousand dollars) for every episode. 

The copyright of the series in which Mahmoud Khalil, Ahmed Maher, Khaled Al Nabawi, Abla Kamel, Dalal Abdel Aziz, and others costarred was sold to 14 Arab countries and TV channels. 

Earlier the Egyptian TV aired many of Mahfouz’s works including Bain Al Qasrain, Qasr Al Shawq, Al Sukkariyah, Al Harafish and other performances which were developed into distinguishable films. These included Allis Walkilab, Thartharah Fawq Al Nile, Miramar, Bidayah Wa Nihaya and others -- Albawaba.com 

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