On Egyptian Soap Operas


This entry has been a long time coming.  I wrote a few months back that I would write an entry about Egyptian television shows.  Well, after getting through three entire serials I have quite a bit to say.  Funnnily enough Egyptian vs. Syrian dramas was actually a topic that we “studied” over the course of two weeks here.  (Waste of time in so many ways, and useful in a few).

Some people will argue that Egyptian serials suck.  That they are all about getting the biggest star possible to star in them and the story lines are trite or just unbelievable.  I think I see where these people are coming from to a certain extent.  But, as I am in Egypt, and I need as much exposure to Egyptian Arabic… I am willing to deal.  They are rather enjoyable if you take them for what they are.

So let me describe the three serials that I followed.  Oh wait, before I do let me explain something.  In general Arab serials debut during Rammadan ( think of it as the fall season and Spring sweeps all rolled into one).  And as such they are about 30 episodes each.  (I actually learned this in class, it just didn’t cross my mind that pretty much all of them were like this).  Some serials can have more than one season (imagine waiting an entire year to get the rest of a cliffhanger… that would suck big time imho).

With that said, I want to explain a little bit about Ayez Atgawaz (I want to get married). It was a comedy that debuted in Rammadan 2010, I think and stars  the famous Tunisian actress Hind Sabry.

She plays the part of Oula abdalsabour, a 28 year old Egyptian woman who is desperate to find a mate, but all she seems to find is bad luck and a bunch of duds.

Poor Oula! So Many of us Can Relate!

There’s the doctor with the dimples, that turns out to the a doctor’s good for nothing womanizing grandson, the seemingly perfect guy who’s impotent, The garbage man (who Oula will not marry because she’s a pharmacist and he is below her social standing) and let’s not forget the guy she met online who turned out to be her brother.  There are also other women such as all her co-workers at the pharmacy who want to get married as well.  They all seem to fail.

Oula trying to call up old friends from College and see if any of them know anybody that is trying to get married

This series was pretty darn funny.  I am not a fan of Egyptian comedy sometimes as it can be pretty slapstick, but the great thing about “Ayez” is that it’s a series any twenty something woman can relate to.  How many of us haven’t loved and lost, and lost and lost? …lol.

I am Rooting for ya Oula! up til the very end

More blogs about Egyptian soap operas to Follow!


2 thoughts on “On Egyptian Soap Operas

  1. Hehe,I actually watched a couple of “Ayez Atgawaz” when I lived in Egypt for 2 months. While it was funny (bear in mind my Arabic is so far relegated to numbers and basic words like hello) I found the actress to be just….terrible! So over the top dramatic, and her character so fluffy! In one of the episodes, all she did was scream and hyperventilate. Nevertheless, it was still an amusing watch, as her most Egyptian comedy shows–I enjoyed watching them, even if I didn’t know what they were saying! Great blog post!

    • gazelledusahara

      Welcome Spectator,

      That’s interesting. You are the first person to say that about her performance. I think it would have been funnier if you understood more Arabic. This is the first time that I saw Hind Sabry in comedic role, for exapmple she is the film the “Yacoubian Building”… she really is pretty good.

      I think the over the top hand movements and such are just of function of how some Egyptians act in real life (I’ve certainly seen some of that in these two months) and Egyptian comedies not straying too far from the slap slick.

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