Egyptian scriptwriter Mariam Naoum says collaboration key to success of Sunset Oasis TV series

Ahram Online , Sunday 4 Jun 2017

Mariam Naoum is the scriptwriter behind many successful television series, including Taht El-Saytara (Under Control) in 2015 and last year's Seqout Hor (Freefall)

Mariam Naoum (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian scriptwriter Mariam Naoum attributed the success of Sunset Oasis (Wahet El-Ghoroob) television series to the "collaborative process behind the production", According to Al-Ahram Arabic website.

The series, which is currently being aired during Ramadan, has garnered positive reviews in its first week and the script was applauded, especially in some scenes shot at the oasis.

In a press release, Naoum highlighted how collaboration on the script began in the stage of research, with the support of Essam Fawzy, and later on developed into extensive discussions with co-writer Ahmed Badawy, as well as with series director Kamla Abo Zekry, and stars Khaled El-Nabawy and Menna Shalaby prior to shooting.

Naoum added that “each person contributed with their thoughts, feelings and vision in the making of the scenes …[and hoped] there would be more of such special collaborations, where there is time for everyone to add their input and contribute to the final output.”

With her previous successful Ramadan series, Thaat and Segn El-Nesaa and Taht El-Saytara, Naoum rose to become one of the most prominent contemporary scriptwriters.

“Over past years, scriptwriter Mariam Naoum has established herself as a skillful sculptor of stories. With a repertoire comprising the film Wahed Sefr (One-Zero, 2009) and an array of TV drama series, [including] El-Shamaa El-Ahmar (Stamped with Red Wax, 2010) … Zaat (2013) … Segn El-Nesa (Women's Prison, 2014), [and] Gamea Moanas Salem (Feminine Plural),” Nourhan Tewfik wrote in a 2015 article on the scriptwriter.

Sunset Oasis is based on Bahaa Taher’s novel of the same name, which won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction ("The Arab Booker") in 2008.

Set during the late 19th century, the story centres on Mahmoud Abdel Zaher, a police officer who was forced to move to Siwa Oasis because of his rebellious ideas, following Jamāl Al-Dīn Al-Afghānī, a prominent political activist and Islamic ideologist at the time.

In the far oasis his foreign wife, Kathrin, becomes fond of Egyptian heritage, and seeks the tomb of Alexander the Great. Here emerges a dialogue between past and present, East and West.

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