Netflix and the Screen Adaptation of ‘Abu Omar al-Masri’

The screen adaptation of Ezzedine Choukri Fishere’s Abu Omar al-Masri — translated to English by Jonathan Wright and retitled as The Egyptian Assassin — is now available on Netflix:

The novel was originally released in 2010, and a screen adaptation came out during Ramadan 2018. At the time, the The Sudanese Foreign Ministry expressed anger at the series and, according to Arab News, summoned the Egyptian ambassador to Khartoum to protest the image of Sudan in the show. The makers of the series issued a statement saying they had not intended to provoke a diplomatic crisis.

Hoopoe Fiction, which released the novel in English last year, has an excerpt on their website.

It opens:

Fakhreddin wrapped the turban tight across his face and nose, leaving a narrow slit for his eyes. He leaned over to the camel carrying Omar and pulled it toward him, and the camel complied. He took hold of the turban covering the boy’s face. Omar didn’t move, apparently indifferent to what his father was doing. Fakhreddin looked into Omar’s eyes, and still he couldn’t see any glimmer of life in them. They seemed to be frozen. He tightened the turban around the boy’s passive face and let the camel resume its normal pace. The sandstorm had just started and they were on an open plain, with no hills to shade them and no caves to provide shelter, so it would not be wise to stop now. As long as their mounts could keep going, they should travel on. Only the sound of the wind and the hiss of the sand broke the silence. The storm would pick up in a while and then the sand would fill the air and cover the earth, like a sea swallowing everything. He had to find shelter before the storm peaked, or else they would perish.

More on the Hoopoe Fiction website.