Actor Ahmed El Sakka announces new Ramadan drama 'Al Jabal' at Sharjah Book Fair

The Egyptian star will appear in the series alongside fellow countryman Amr Youssef

Egyptian actor Ahmed El Sakka at this year's Sharjah Book Fair. Photo: Sharjah Book Authority
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Ahmed El Sakka will appear in new drama series Al Jabal, set to be released next Ramadan.

The popular Egyptian actor made the announcement during his appearance at the Sharjah International Book Fair, which runs until November 13.

“I really can’t reveal too much at this stage other than the show will also feature the great actor Amr Youssef and will begin production soon. God willing, you will see it in Ramadan next year,” he said.

“What I can also say is that I also finished shooting a film called Al Serb and at the moment it is going through the post-production phase. So hopefully that will be out soon.”

Speaking at a packed session on Friday, El Sakka, 49, also shed light on his experience shooting the third season of blockbuster television series El Ikhtiyar, currently available for streaming on MBC's Shahid.

The patriotic military drama, which had its premiere on MBC this Ramadan, looks at the lives of Egyptian anti-terror police investigators, also known as The Shadow Men.

It is based on real-life investigations that took place in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising in Egypt and El Sakka said his role as gritty cop Mustafa was a major responsibility.

"I think the key ingredient that made the series a success was that it showed the human side of the policemen.

"While they are out there doing dangerous work that many don't know about, they have their own personal and family problems like the rest of us.

“I think that human dimension was needed to make sure people connected not only with the important story, but the characters as well.”

Despite his father, Salah El Sakka, being a famous stage director, El Sakka said his career success has been a surprise.

A student of Cairo's The Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts, he said his passions lay more in poetry and art.

“But once I joined a small production in college and stepped on stage I knew that this felt more natural for me,” he explained.

That said, his love for Arabic literature never waned.

"Although the technologies have advanced and there are eBooks at the touch of a button, I still favour the old-fashioned way of reading," he said. "I love the written word, especially short stories, and I still collect many old children's stories from my time."

As for his genre of choice, El Sakka prefers “the classics” of Arabic literature.

“We have a galaxy of distinguished Egyptian writers and intellectuals,” he said.

“We only need to forget about reading and researching online (about their lives) and instead explore the old works from these masters."

With high-budget films Huroob Ezterari and The Spider having established El Sakka as one of the region's leading action stars, he said he would jump at the chance to play an Arabic superhero in the mould of Batman or Superman.

“These kinds of films have a way of exposing us to new worlds and other cultures.”

“I would love to make action-hero movies but they require powerful scripts and huge budgets to create them."

The Sharjah International Book Fair is on at the Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13. More information is available at sibf.com

Scroll through the gallery below for pictures from this year's Sharjah International Book Fair

Updated: November 06, 2022, 11:16 AM
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