Sharjah: The challenges facing Arabic television drama series and their current standard was the topic of discussion at the Sharjah Media Centre’s last Ramadan Majlis held at the Museum of Islamic Civilisation on July 28.
Attended by Egyptian actor Noor Al Sharif and Syrian actor Jamal Al Sulaiman, the discussion was led by Lebanese host Zahi Wahbi.
Highlighting that there had been a drop in the quality of Egyptian dramas in the past 10 years, Noor Al Sharif said that TV producers nowadays were more drawn to commercial targets rather than the overall quality of their production.
“Most of the Egyptian drama series are meaningless and the amount of series produced each year has drastically increased,” he added.
Al Sharif criticised the number of flaws in Egyptian dramas which he said ranged from TV celebrity appearances and dress codes to their choice of language.
“The inappropriate language used in Egyptian drama these days has surprised me a lot,” said Al Sharif who added that the language used in western movies was similar to that used in Egyptian dramas.
The actor also pointed out that Arabic TV dramas deviated from the current political and social situations in the country and across the Arab World. “The cost to make an Egyptian drama now is much higher and the quality of the dramas has gone down,” he said.
Carrying a similar opinion, actor Jamal Al Sulaiman underlined the changes in TV history and public attitude towards TV shows. “When TV first came around, it was used to spread social and political awareness, but now people turn on their TV mainly for entertainment,” he said.
Al Sulaiman also discussed the future challenges of Syrian TV dramas, pointing out the consequences of the recent civil war on the TV industry.
“What we see happening in Syria right now along with the great destruction is probably one of the greatest challenges for the production of Syrian drama. Everyone knows by now that the Syrian government is in debt and it will take around 20 or even 30 years for the country to recover from all these damages,” explained Al Sulaiman.
With the current situation in mind, the actor also pointed out that during this devastating phase, Syrian TV dramas will be given less attention as other aspects that contribute to rebuilding the country and its economy will be prioritised.
“There’s also a huge separation between people for and against the Syrian regime, which makes it a tough challenge for the Syrian drama to move forward,” he said.
Mary Achkhanian is an intern at Gulf News