Yes, this is another one of our nostalgia-induced pieces where we take you on a walk down memory lane, back not to teta’s embrace but mama’s tafsees besela while running commentary on the living room couch. Close your eyes, and allow us to drive you back to a time when you curled up in front of MBC to watch 3ala Mar Elzaman and Fatma, crying along with Gamila and Mohanad. Ah, these were the days. Before we start, serious question: did anyone else think that the Turkish language consisted of the Syrian dialect because of the dubbing? No one, at all? Aight We’re the only weird ones… ok, no biggie.
1- 3ala Mar El-Zaman
Set back in the 60’s (and we honestly have a thing for this era), it followed the broken up family of Gamila after her husband’s infidelity. It was an emotional rollercoaster and that’s an understatement. I very clearly remember spending spent the evening watching the daily episode with my cousins, where packs of tissues where within reach. If you know, you know. Oh, by the way, it’s based on a true story. Anyone else yearning for a rewatch? After an afterthought, it’s exam season w nelem nafsena (…or not).
2- Ward w Shok
We all know Turkish dramas are always taken too far, but this series is by far the most far fetched story I’ve ever watched. It starts with a widow who goes and lives with her late husband’s family. She packs everything and takes her two daughters and son to this big family house that consists of the grandma, the jealous older brother who we suspect might have murdered his brother, his wife and disabled kid whom he neglects and treats like shit. Might I add a mysterious lady and her son mesh fahmin eih mawke3hom f shagaret el 3eila but later find out she’s the late husband’s first wife, and this teenage boy is his second wife’s stolen child, that was offered to her as a gift because she was barren. AND WE FOUND OUT ABOUT ALL OF THIS WITHIN A FEW EPISODES.
I specifically remember how confused I was because no one in the house was wearing black after the funeral, it was a cultural awakening somehow that these people aren’t Egyptian??? I hate remembering my thoughts as a tween, I was so dumb. *sighs* Anyways back to the list…
We have a tendency, it seems, to like sad stories and enjoy them a little bit more. Of course, this doesn’t explain the state we’re in today… of course not. Anyway, the name of the series officially is ‘What’s Fatma’s Crime?’. Well, Fatma was r*ped by four men then forced to marry their friend, who was a bystander. Her crime was her being a victim, a survivor, a woman. I feel like the fear and trauma Fatma experienced is what led many of us to hold her in high regard and sympathise with her. At the end of the day, what happened to her is no stranger to what can happen to us. It’s a sad story that talks us through the Turkish cultural view on these cases. TV series and movies are portals of information to the norms and values of others; I think this is why we enjoyed drama series so much.
4- Hareem El Sultan
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who hasn’t heard about this series. One of the first things that literally come to mind when mentioning turkish dramas, is Hareem El Sultan. I can safely say enaha 3a’adetni when it comes to relationships and people. Everyone cheating, lying, hiding something for their advantage. Then again, it was about survival in a castle with a pretty throne to rule over people, pretty metaphorical in relation to our lives if I do say so myself. I did enjoy it though, would I rewatch it? Probably not, but the memories will last. When I used to cover my eyes when a hint of a slaughter scene would come, the shipping fights we had as a family when it came to any love triangles and the laughs we’d have when making fun of overly dramatic scenes. There’s a lot to cherish here.
After the loss of his beloved girlfriend, Mohamed settles down to marry Nour, a girl that loved him since they were kids. Going into the marriage thinking that he loves her back, Nour gets heartbroken once she becomes aware of the reality of the situation. But Mohamed slowly falls in love with her, making her “dream” come true. This is one of the oldest turkish series I’ve ever watched, when Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ was still a young actor starting off in the industry.
6- W Yabka Al Hob
Based on our Alf Leila We Leila (that’s been westernised and sexualised into Arabian Nights, but that’s a rant for another day), this is a hell of a rollercoaster that walks us through the story of a widow and a mother who fall deep in debt, trying to collect the money required to treat her son of leukemia. Her boss, Onur, offers her money on one condition: she spends a night with him. If this was one of our rants, kona gebna Onur el ard. Unfortunately, this is a throwback article so we’ll keep our rants to our batshit group chat. In short, if you feel like crying, maybe you’re looking to (re)watch this.
7- Gsoor & Gamila
This is the newest show on our list, released back in 2016. However, it certainly stayed with us. Honestly, we have a thing for crime shows, however cliche they are. This is the classic story of a man returning to his hometown meaning to avenge his father only to fall in love with the daughter of the man who supposedly killed his dad. Seen this in a hundred different shows before? Sure, we did. Did we like Gaser w Gamila? Yes, we did.
8- El 3shq El Mamnoo3
We saved the best and most impactful, for last. Mohanad is the OG heartbreaker, that’s for sure. We probably watched this show in our childhoods and not our tweens, even, it’s so old it made a cameo in the first season of El Kebeer Awi, so, yikes? Hell, that soundtrack was nearly every Egyptian mom’s ringtone for a solid year, if we bleached our brains, we’d still remember it. A forbidden love could not get any more forbidden if it tried, one has to wonder if such an intricately detailed story has any elements of truth to it…Kind of want to procrastinate my assignments to watch? Kinda will, actually. Oops?
That’s a wrap. Mama, please, I think we need to curl up under your huge shawl, ne’awar kosa, and watch 3ala Mar Elzaman again.