Egyptian soap opera on Jews sparks controversy

Published 27.06.2015 20:32
Egyptian soap opera on Jews sparks controversy

An Egyptian soap opera about the Jewish community that lived in Egypt following the creation of Israel is sparking a heated debate with many Egyptians seeing the TV drama as sympathetic to Jews.

The series "Haret Al-Yahood" (The Jewish Alley) focuses on Jews living in Egypt in the 1950s following the creation of Israel on the land of historical Palestine.

The drama, which is being aired during the fasting month of Ramadan, revolves around a love story between a young Jewish Egyptian girl and a Muslim Egyptian man.

"The series is supported by the regime to improve the image of Zionists in Egypt," one Twitter user said.

Other Twitter users suggested that the TV drama is the latest step by Egyptian authorities to improve relations with Israel.

"After honoring Golda Meir at the Pharaonic village?I suggest naming a rabbi as Egypt's minister for religious affairs," another user tweeted.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian museum displayed a photo of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in an exhibition about pioneering women before removing it following harsh criticism.

Some Twitter users went on to say that the TV series amounted to "treason."

"Jewish Alley represents the shift of the Egyptian cinema from low standards and indecency to clear and unequivocal treason," Mohamed Ibrahim tweeted.

But author of the drama, Medhat al-Adl, defended the TV series, calling on viewers to practice patience until the series ends.

The controversial TV series also provoked criticism from the Israeli embassy in Cairo, which said through Facebook on Wednesday that the series was inciting against Israel.

"After 36 years of signing a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, incitement against Israel and the peace treaty is still continuing," the embassy said.

Egypt and Israel signed a landmark peace treaty in 1979 following a six-year military conflict over the Sinai Peninsula.

Despite the peace treaty, Egypt and Israel still remain in a state of cold peace.

Israel, which had occupied Egypt's Sinai Peninsula for six years prior to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, is still seen in an overwhelmingly negative light among much of the Egyptian public.

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