Zaat / Bent Esmaha Zaat

  • Release Date: 2013
  • Type: TV Drama
  • Run time: 31 episode, 40 minutes/episode
  • Directed by: Kamla Abu Zekri, Khairy Bichara
  • Produced by: Gabriel Khoury
  • Screenplay: (Novel Sonallah Ibrahim) Mariam Naoum, Naglaa El Hedeny
  • Cast: Nelly Kareem, Bassem Samra, Hanan Youssef, Entessar, Hany Adel, Salwa Mohamed Aly, Nasser Seif, Nahed El Sebaey, Nesreen Ameen
  • Cinematography: Nancy Abdel Fattah
  • Art direction: Hamdy Abdel Rahman
  • Editing: Mona Rabie, Wessam El Leithy
  • Costume design: Monia Fath Al Bab
  • Music: Tamer Karawan
  • Sound: Mostafa Aly

The story takes place in the period between Egypt's two revolutions, beginning on 23rd of July 1952 the day Zaat is born, and ending on 25th of January 2011, with Zaat, the heroine, marching with her family amidst the masses, chanting up at the balconies for her people to join in.
Between Zaat's birth on the 23rd of July 1952 and her rebirth on the 25th of January 2011, Egypt's history is relived and recounted through her personal journey, as we experience through her eyes the development and eventual decay of the social and political fabric of the country over 60 years.
Zaat’s birth during the July revolution means that she lives her childhood and adolescence under Nasser, her coming of age under Sadat and her adulthood under Mubarak. She lives through the four presidents this country has known, including Mohamed Naguib's brief tenure. Each period has an influence on her life and daily routine. She grows up in a Nasserite household and shares her father's love for the socialist leader. Later on, she marries Abdel-Meguid, a vocal supporter of Sadat, which leads her to abandon socialism and embrace consumerism. And finally she brings up her children under Mubarak, whose reign has been marred by corruption, mass emigration, and the loss of national identity.
Naturally, the confusion that was prevalent during Mubarak's rule has an impact on Zaat’s children: her elder daughter, Doaa, ends up sympathizing with the religious movements; her younger daughter, Ibtihal, leans towards secularism; while her westernised son, Amjad, can barely form a sentence in his mother tongue. Confused by her surroundings, Zaat no longer knows what philosophy to adopt, especially since the Nasserite ideology which formed her, now seems outdated. Her belief system is in limbo until the January revolution, she joined the demonstrations asking for change and achieving the social justice.

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