On his birthday … Behind the scenes of Yahya Alami’s directing “Al-Ayyam” series

81 years have passed since the birth of the great director Yehia El Alami, who directed many television masterpieces, which is considered one of the prominent characters in the history of Egyptian drama.

Director Yahya Alami’s interest in the biographies of great writers was part of his television work. He presented two series on the giant, on the life story of the great writer Abbas Mahmoud Al-Akkad, and the series “Al-Ayyam “about the life story of international author Taha Hussein. In one of the rare interviews for Cairo University magazine, conducted by Ahmed Abdel Rahim in October 1998, he spoke about the scenes of his work.

Yahya Al-Alami said during the dialogue that I owe this credit to Mrs. Tamader Tawfiq, who is my teacher at the beginning of my work in the cultural channel.

At that time, she was the head of television, and I was more into theater than television. When she instructed me to produce Al-Ayyam, I was stunned. I studied this book in school, and I lost my mind.

I had no preference for the late Amina El-Sawy, or Mr. Anwar Ahmed, to choose as they presented the project to television, and it stumbled for a while, until Mrs. Tamader Tawfiq came, and she adopted the idea of ​​presenting the pioneers of Egyptian thought, science and culture through television. But I found that their treatment of the book “Al-Ayyam” was more documentary than dramatic, and I did not want to present historical events or social situations, but rather look for what lies behind them in the depths of the human soul, to the original gold; I mean moments of human honesty in Taha Hussein’s life. So I told dr. Youssef Gohar in writing the screenplay again; As the one who turned most of the Dean’s novels into dramas, such as the movie “Doaa Al-Karwan” and the movie “Lost Love”.

Alami continued his narration of the scenes behind his direction of the series, saying that after I rewrote the screenplay, I was afraid that the issues we were exposed to, such as literary research and doctoral theses, would not reach ordinary viewers, and I felt that only specialists and intellectuals would be interested in the series, knowing that Taha Hussein was very interested in poor audiences; He is the owner of the call of knowledge, such as water and air. I remember when I met his daughter, Mrs Amina Taha Hussein, and her husband, the late Foreign Minister, dr. Muhammad Hassan al-Zayyat, to ask for information about her father, gave us tea as a working girl, and his daughter-in-law then told me: “I want this girl, who does not know how to read or write . She knows who the father of Dr Taha Hussein is, ”and therefore she accepted the responsibility to bring this man’s story to people in all its categories.

It was necessary to turn the series into an epic work based on the popular atmosphere, and the very short song; I presented the song for the first time in the drama, which did not exceed a minute, and I took refuge in the poet Sayed Hegab, and the musician Ammar Al-Sharei.After reading the book, my feelings differed when I read it as a student, and I realized the extent of this man’s poetic realization, and his delicate sense of describing his most secret and subtle feelings. And I began to pray to God that I would make the dramatic performance part of his greatness, his popularity, and his delicate literature. Therefore, I agreed with Sayed Hijab on something I then expected to become the subject of critical studies; This is the focus in the songs on words with sound, not visual, connotations, and avoid choosing any word that has a visual synonym, because we are dealing with a character who has lost her sight, and become dependent heard and felt, and it was a very difficult task to deal with a person’s vocal memory, but Sayed Hijab succeeded. . As for Ammar Al-Sharei, Taha Hussein shared the same feelings, which he expressed musically in the most wonderful way, so that it became a mark in his artistic history.

It relied on Ali Al-Hajjar’s voice because it had dramatic dimensions, and in the events he replaced Taha Hussein in some situations. When he embraces his daughter for the first time, leaves his village, enters Al-Azhar, kills his brother, or insults him. In all these and other situations, a voice over Al-Hajar sounds with a sense of personality. , and dramatically expresses what wrinkles within her.

And about his choice of Ahmed Zaki as a hero to work on while at the beginning of his artistic career, Yahya Al-Alami said: “About a year before the series, the movie” The Conqueror of Darkness “aired on a book appeared by Kamal Al-Malakh, starring Mahmoud Yassin, so we did not want to repeat the character with the same star, especially since he embodied it at an advanced stage.Sunni about the stage we chose, which included Taha Hussein’s childhood in his village in Minya, then his studies at Al-Azhar, then I sent him to Paris.One day I came across an old photo of the brigadier general wearing the Azhar uniform, and I saw that he looked a lot like Ahmed Zaki, who at the beginning of his brilliance, he was distinguished by a very strong sense of drama, and the ability to express the internal of the character, in addition to the outward appearance. I offered him the role, he thought I was joking, and said, “I’m true, and Taha Hussein w vein!” But when I told him that the subject was “serious” and that I had chosen him to play the character in a series, he was so stunned that he left the office and “ran well,” so I ran after him. to the stairs, and stop him to give him the script, but he “runs well again!” But I insisted on him, and despite the Dean’s daughter – in – law’s objection to him, as a young man, I took full responsibility.

In response to a question about how he handled Ahmed Zaki, director Yahya Al-Alami confirmed in the dialogue that Ahmed Zaki was very tense and anxious, and advised him not to attend rehearsals that highlight highlights such as the late Mahmoud El-Meligy , does not include, Yahya Shaheen, and Amina Rizk. The dialogue speaks for itself, as the dean was very keen on the Arabic language. I agreed with this professor that he will stand with us behind the camera during filming, and if he finds any error in pronunciation, even small, he will immediately stop filming and warn me. The truth is that Ahmed was very tired, but it was the opportunity that qualified him to star, and I think the series “Al-Ayyam” reformulated it.

The heroes of the series “The Days”

Starring in the series “Al-Ayyam”, artist Ahmed Zaki in the role of “Taha Hussein”, Yahya Shaheen in the role of “Sheikh Hussein”, Amina Rizk in the role of Roqaya “Umm Taha”, Imad Rashad , Mahmoud “Taha’s brother”, Sami Fahmy in the role of Taha’s brother Hussein, Nadia Fahmy “Gulfdan, sister of Taha”, Safia Al-Omari as “Suzan”.

And the participation of the stars Hamdi Ghaith, in the role of “Lutfi El-Sayed”, Mahmoud El-Meligy “Alawi”, Muhammad Al-Dafrawi in the role of Dr. Ahmed Zaki, Nazim Shaarawy in the role of “Kazem Al – Bashkatib ”, Raafat Fahim,“ Basiouni, the health barber ”, Rashwan Tawfiq,“ Inspector Fawzy ”, Ali Al-Sharif as“ Sheikh Ali Sheikh Al-Kitab ”, Abdul Salam Muhammad as“ Assistant Sheikh Al -Kitab ”, Muhammad Al-Shuaihi in the role of“ Fatah Al-Bab ”, Farouk Youssef“ Siddiq of Sheikh Ahmed ”, Abu Al-Fotouh Amara“ A Man from the Village ”, Muhammad Al-Edandani“ A Seller in the village.

And the participation of the star artists: Badr Al-Din Jamjoom “Lutfi”, Farouk Najib in the role of “Sultan”, and the artists Najib Abdo, Jamal Shebl, Abdel Rahman Sharif, Shafiq Al-Sheyab, Abdel Moneim Qinawy, Abdel Aziz Abu Al-Lail, Mohamed Shawky, Sami Salah, Mohamed El-Jadi, Ahmed Salah El-Din, Fakhri Azar, mr. Mounir, Omar Naji, Adeeb Trabelsi, Essam El-Ashry, Abdel Hadi Anwar, Ibrahim Qadri, Sayed El -Araby, Ahmed Abu Obeya, Mohamed Abdel Halim, Hala Anwar, Amin Antar, Ahmed El-Naghi, Qais Abdel-Fattah Medhat Morsi , Ahmed El-Shennawy.

The great artists Mohamed Abdel Salam, Hamdi Sharaf El-Din, Ibrahim El Miniawy, Ahmed Attia, Mahdi Abbas, Mustafa Hashem, mr. Zaid, Samir Hajjaj, Mazhar Younes, Hussein Erfan, Hosni Claude, Shahat Suleiman, Adel El-Shennawy, Rashwan participated in the series “Al-Ayyam”. Mustafa, Samia Mohsen, Nasr Seif, Bahaa Ibrahim.

Among the guests of the episodes were the artists: Anwar Ismail, Ibrahim Al-Shami, Salah Nazmi, Ahmed Khamis, Badr Nofal, Iskandar Mansi, Zakaria Muwafi, Salama Elias, Safinaz Al-Jundi, Mona Kattan, Hussein El-Sherbiny.

And the participation of children Sherif Salah El-Din, Taha Hussein, Nermin Mujahid, Moataz Yahya, Sameh Mujahid, Hassan Al-Shennawi, Asmaa Farid.

Story, screenplay and dialogue by Amina El-Sawy, Anwar Ahmed, screenplay supervision by Youssef Gohar, assistant director Kamal Rizk, assistant director Fouad Shehab El-Din, production director Salim El-Nimr.

The great poet Farouk Shousha played the role of the narrator, and the songs were written by the great poet Sayed Hegab, the melodies and soundtracks, and the titers by the musician Ammar Al-Sharei, and the singing of the creator Ali Al- Hajjar, “Al-Ayyam” directed by Yahya Alami.

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