Nageeb Mahfouz Novel Skillfully Adapted for Small Screen

Published November 26th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Screenwriter Mohsen Zayed has managed to adapt a novel by Egypt's renowned Nobel Prize-winning writer Nageeb Mahfouz, Hadith Al Sabah Wal Masaa (Morning and Evening Speech), into a TV series.  

The writer was able to keep the novel’s atmosphere intact, allowing director Ahmed Sager to present a skillful drama. 

The success of the series' first episodes, which are being aired this Ramadan, have encouraged Zayed to write the second part and gear up for shooting it after the Fitr Feast holiday, according to the UAE daily Al Bayan. 

A large number of Egyptian stars - around 70 - played roles in the first part, including Laila Olwi, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Ibrahim Yusri, Salwa Khattab, Tareq Lutfi, Abla Kamel, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Khalil, Ahmed Al Fishawi, Ahmed Zaher, Mohammed Nagati and others. 

The series tackles Egypt’s social and political modern history through three main characters and their offspring. Conflicts erupt between them, and each of them has his own social, political and humanitarian role. 

They include Sheikh “Muawiyah Al Qalyoubi,” the patriotic citizen who takes part in Urabi’s revolution, and Daoud Al Masri, the ambitious who works in politics until he becomes Pasha. As for Ata Al Marakbi, he has two children from his rich wife after he becomes old. 

With time, events take place successively to present a drama line, which highlights the role of every character in the series over a period of more than one hundred years. 

Olwi plays Huda Hanem, who has a strong personality but is kind and challenges everybody if she feels that her opinion is right. Huda succeeds in getting married to Ata Al Marakbi, the shoemaker, because he does not object to giving 100 pairs of shoes to people in the village. She gives birth to two babies who change her personality when they grow up, get married and have children. Hanem looks after every body in the family. 

The novel was written by Nagib Mahfouz in 1985 and it took a long time and hard work to develop into a series. The original writer and the screenwriter Mohsen Zayed met many times due to the importance of the story, which is essentially about the development of the Egyptian character between 1800-1985 through five generations differing in everything, including thinking and way of life – 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (

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