By Noura Shibl

In recent years, a lot of audience seemed to prefer Western movies and TV shows to Egyptian ones. The Egyptian entertainment industry has long been blamed of producing cheap commercial movies rather than meaningful art; this is not entirely true though. Here are some underrated master pieces that prove there is yet hope in the Egyptian drama and film industry:

1- “Dahsha” 2014

Yehia El Fakharany’s “Dahsa” is based on William Shakespeare’s play King Lear. It’s an adaptation of the classic tragedy, representing it in an upper Egyptian setting. It’s basically about a man who decided to give his daughters their share of their inheritance, and they eventually become cold-hearted and ungrateful towards their father. In spite of Fakharany’s exquisite performance and the critics’ blessings, it did not achieve the expected viewership.

2- “Bedoun Zekr Asmaa” 2013


Starting from the mid 80’s, “Bedoun Zekr Asmaa” follows the lives of the marginalized society of Egypt’s street children, the story of how hopeful youths turn into corrupted businessmen, and how Khaliji culture invaded Egypt through migrant labor. This series managed to portray the painful deterioration of the Egyptian society with intricate details. 11

3- “Fatat El-Masna'” 2014


Directed by the genius Mohammed Khan, “Fatat el Masna'” is a movie about 21 year old Hayam, a working class Egyptian girl who works at a textile factory and secretly cleans houses behind her mother’s back for a living. Like many girls in Egypt, Hayam watches romantic old black and white movies and craves to live a romance of her own. But in a cruel world where she might be slut-shamed based solely on rumors, there is a very high price to pay. Realistic and heartbreaking, “Fatat El Masna'” succeeded in portraying the authentic struggle of an Egyptian girl’s life.Factory Girl

4- “El- Sheta el Fat” 2013


Set during the time of the 25th of January revolution, “El Sheta el Fat” focused on Egypt’s youth who sparked the revolution through the internet. Amr Waked played the role of a programmer who was involved with individuals playing a major part in the revolution. The movie focused on the spread of corruption in the Egyptian society.

As the old saying says “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, the same goes for the Egyptian screen. Give Egyptian movies and series a chance, and you might actually find something you like!