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Top 10 Ramadan TV soaps to watch under coronavirus lockdown

Coronavirus threatened to halt the production of Ramadan soaps [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 22 April, 2020

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Not sure which Ramadan soaps to watch? Here are The New Arab's pick of this year's top 10 best Ramadan soaps.
This year's Ramadan, spent under coronavirus lockdown, will be unlike any other. One thing the faithful can count on to stay the same will be their much-loved Ramadan television soaps.

Tough restrictions imposed across the Middle East to curb the spread of Covid-19 threatened to halt production and stop the soaps, known as "musalsalat", from reaching millions of eager viewers. 

Production was given the green light to go ahead across the Arab world despite the pandemic and this Ramadan will see the debut of many new soaps. In Egypt alone, 20 new series will be aired this Ramadan. 

And, with residents being asked to stay off the streets and worship from home, it's guaranteed that millions across the Middle East and beyond will be tuning in. 

Not sure what to watch? Here are The New Arab's pick of the top 10 best soaps to watch after breaking the fast at sunset with the iftar meal or with suhoor in the pre-dawn hours. 

Al Nehaya ("The End")

Egyptian soap Al Nehaya, with Youssef Al-Sherif in the lead role, is a science fiction soap set in the year 2120. 

The trailer promises high intensity and action-filled drama - perfect to keep you up well into the night.


"Qalb Adh-Dheeb" Wolf's heart

Gripping Tunisan drama Qalb adh-Dheeb promises to have viewers on the edge of their seat. 

The series depicts Tunisia's resistance to French colonialism in the 1940's during the Second World War.


"Al Ikhtiyar" The Choice


Egyptian Ramadan soap Al Ikhtiyar is based on the true story of Ahmed Saber Al-Mansi, the commander of the 103rd Battalion, who was killed in an ambush on "Burth" square in the Egyptian city of Rafah in 2017 while countering a terrorist attack in the Sinai.


Makhraj 7 ("Exit 7")

Saudi sitcom Makhraj 7, starring Nasser Al Qasabi, gives us a glimpse into life in present-day Saudi Arabia.

The series follows Al-Qasabi, who works as a government clerk in the complaints department, and will even touch on how coronavirus has changed daily life.


Al-Hayba 

Lebanese-Syrian drama Al Hayba, directed by Samer Barqawi and starring Taim Hasan, has aired every Ramadan since 2017.

This year, the main protagonist Jabal seeks revenge for the death of his wife and child. 

"Souhlifa"

Moroccan comedy Souhlifa will return to screens for its second season this Ramadan.

The show is centred around the charismatic protagonist Al-Madani and the hilarious antics that ensue as he is forced to look after his seven-year-old niece.


"Bab Al-Hara" The Neighbourhood's Gate


No list of the best "musalsalat" would be complete without the famous Syrian series Bab Al-Hara.

Gracing screens this year with its 11th instalment, the show features the daily happenings of a Damascus neighbourhood in the 1920s. 


Al-Fatawa ("The Bully") 


Highly anticipated Egyptian soap Al Fatawa sees its star-studded cast act in a historical drama set a century ago.

The show is set in Egypt's poor neighbourhoods, which are organised and run by a class of powerful people known as the "fatawa".


Umm Haroun

Kuwaiti drama Umm Haroun stars controversial actress Hayat al-Fahad.

The show chronicles the struggles of Umm Haroun - a Jewish woman in the Gulf.

Valentino

Viewers will be happy to see the return of legendary Egyptian actor Adel Imam to their screens this Ramadan.

He plays Nour Abdul Majeed, or Valentino, who owns several international schools with his wife. Things get interesting when the couple butt heads over Valentino's shady business dealings.

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