Drama rights

Soha Hesham , Tuesday 11 Jun 2024

Soha Hesham attended the National Council for Human Rights drama awards ceremony

Aala Nesbet Moshahda
Aala Nesbet Moshahda Selat Rahem


The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) held a delightful celebration in the Aida Hall at the Marriott Hotel in Zamalek, honouring TV stars and producers of the last Ramadan season.

The celebration started with a speech by the head of the National Council for Human Rights Ambassador Moushira Khattab, who praised the role of drama in addressing human rights issues. She mentioned El Barsha village and Deir El Barsha, which engraved its name in Egyptian history as a space freed of female genital mutilation. It is not strange to see today girls from El Barsha speak up for their rights and tackle sensitive issues as they make their way into the documentary film Rafaat Eini Lel Sama (The Brink of Dreams), which received the L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) award at the Cannes Film Festival. Khattab added that the NCHR raises a slogan in support of women and moreover the council supported the second Women’s Theatre Festival.

Every year, the NCHR honours television series screened in the latest Ramadan season, but this year there was an exception: the NCHR decided to honour the documentary film The Brink of Dreams, directed by the married couple Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir. It follows a female Coptic street theatre troupe named Panorama Barsha, who speak up about their predicaments and struggles, condemning underage marriage, domestic violence and patriarchy in a way that no one had ever done before. Calling them onto the stage, Riyadh and El Amir were among the girls of the theatre troupe as they gave a brief delightful performance with a heart-felt interaction with the audience.

NCHR Cultural Rights Committee member Nevine Mossad handed out the awards for the TV series Bedoun Sabeq Indhar (Without Prior Warning). Present from the cast were actors Yasser Ali Maher, Nehal Anbar, Ahmed Khaled Saleh, Gehad Hossameddine, Hanan Suliman, Basma and the child actor Selim Youssef as well as the director Hani Khalifa and writers Samar Taher, Karim Al-Dali and Ammar Sabry. In this drama the illness of a young couple’s son reveals he is not in fact their biological son at all, following a DNA test.

Another TV drama was honoured, Selat Rahem (Kinship), which tackles the complex issue of surrogate mothers in Egypt, socially and religiously, shedding light on gynaecological issues as well. Present from the cast were actors Youssra Al-Louzi, Nora Abdel-Rahman, Safaa Galal, Nabil Noureddine, Mohamed Gomaa and Heba Abdel-Ghani as well as screenwriter Hisham Obaya and director Tamer Nadi.

The NCHR also honoured Masar Egabri (Ahead Only) by Nadine Khan, who was present with some of her cast members: Sabrine, Basma, Mohsen Mansour, Gehad Hossameddine and writers Amin Gamal, Mohamed Mehrez and Mina Bebawy. The drama  revolves around Ali (Essam Omar) and Hussein (Ahmed Dash) who, meeting for the first time at the hospital where their father Omar (Mahmoud Al-Bezawi) is suffering a heart attack, discover they are brothers. Omar has somehow managed to divide his time between his two wives, without either of them finding out about the other. But now that he is dying he needs to summon them both. The two sons start to face the dark side of their father’s life in an attempt to protect their own families.

The Ramadan comedy Kamel Al-Adad +1 (Full House +1) was also honoured. The second season of Kamel Al-Adad came as an investment in the first season’s huge success the previous year. It continues to revolve around  the couple Laila and Ahmed (Dina Al-Sherbini and Sherif Salama, respectively) trying to live with together with their huge number of children, now with even more people in the crazy household. Present were director Khaled Al-Halafawi and writers Yousr Taher and Rana Abul-Reish as well as actors Olfat Imam, Ahmed Kamal, Jessica Hossameddine, Hamza Diab and the children Celia Mohamed Saad and the identical twin Youssef and Younis Bassem as well as the renowned actress Mimi Gamal, who was warmly greeted by the audience.

The celebration also featured the honouring of the two icons: director Inaam Mohamed Ali, who made a short touching statement; and the name of the late screenwriter Osama Anwar Okasha (1941-2010), whose daughter received the award, giving a speech about the work of her father and his collaboration with Ali.

Ali flourished in television drama and her credits include Damier Abla Hekmat (Conscience of Teacher Hekmat, 1991), where she joined forces with Okasha and actors Faten Hamama, Gamil Rateb, Ahmed Mazhar, Abla Kamel, Aida Abdel-Aziz and Sawsan Badr, as well as Umm Kulthoum (1999), starring Sabrine, Gamil Rateb, Samira Abdel-Aziz and Kamal Abu Raya.

Okasha’s remarkable work traced Egypt’s modern history and social complexities in TV series like Layali Al-Hilmya (1987-1995), Arabisque (1994), Zizina (1997) and many others.

The celebration concluded with honouring the TV series Aala Nesbet Moshahda (Highest Views), directed by Yasmine Ahmed Kamel. The drama tackles the trendy issue of the TikTok and how the craze of reaching more followers or becoming an influencer can affect young women.

The cast of the TV series were present along with Kamel and actors Intisar, Farah Youssef, Laila Ahmed Zaher, Islam Ibrahim and Mohamed Mahmoud.  


* A version of this article appears in print in the 13 June, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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