EGYPT / El-Nehaya a television series which polarises opinion

Egyptian screenwriter Amr Samir Atif has completed his new television series, El-Nehaya (The End). Directed by Yasser Samy, the series began broadcasting in Egypt during the first days of Ramadan – a popular period for showing series, with several new ones emerging every year. They often generate a lot of comments – this year though El-Nehaya has been talked about more than usual.

El-Nehaya poster

El-Nehaya is set in 2120. The central character is a computer engineer and teacher, his dystopian world dominated by cyborgs. In the first episode, he tells his students about the “Jerusalem Liberation War” a conflict which, he explains, took place less than 100 years after the founding of the State of Israel. Using a holographic map of the North America the teacher shows how the United States, Israel’s ally, had been divided and weakened by wars and how the Arab states took advantage of that to declare war on the Jewish state. He concludes by saying so the Jews of Israel fled and returned to their countries of origin, to Europe”.

At the end of April, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly condemned the series. In a statement it said the drama was “totally unacceptable, especially since the two countries [Israel and Egypt] signed a peace treaty 41 years ago.”

Produced by Synergy, one of Egypt’s largest production companies, the series was broadcast on two private television networks, ON and Al-Hayat. There are many Egyptian actors in the series: Youssef El Sherif, Amr Ebdel-Geleel, Sahar Al-Sayegh, Ahmad Wafiq, Nahed Elsebai and even Mohamed Lofty.

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