Adam and Jamila

Adam & Jamila is an Egyptian Ramadan TV series. Unlike Hollywood where the best selling TV series seasons start in August/Sept and end in April/May, in Egypt our best selling TV series are condensed all in the month of Ramadan.

The most effort, money and best story lines of Egyptian TV are found during this month of fasting. The truth is when people are hungry, thirsty, and tired, it is easy to find time and get glued to the TV. In the past, there was not so much choice and everyone watched the same series and it became one of the conversations during Iftar every night.

Now with the satellite channels and so many TV series, the choices are endless. Thanks to YouTube, you can easily watch the series at your own time, without commercials and at your own convenience, while of course fast forwarding the boring bits and the extra long credits. So the tradition remains and the 30 episode seasons begins with the first day of Ramadan, and ends during Eid.

My first review for Ramadan this year is a typical Cinderella story. If you can tolerate the slow pace and the prolonged stares with musical background. Then it’s a typical Egyptian love story from the sixties, that is set in the present day.

Jamila’s mother, Fatma, goes into labor in the first episode.  She’s alone at home and her best friend helps her deliver along with her best-friend’s son Adam. He holds the baby and vows to take care of her and marry her when he grows up. A strong bond is formed between Adam and Jamila. This has been going on for six years until Jamila’s mother dies in a tragic accident.

Her father then dies of brain cancer. Jamila leaves Cairo, and is sent to live with her paternal Grandfather, and her paternal uncle in Alexandria. Bella, Adam’s mother, vows to take care of Jamila after her parents’ death, but she loses the uncle’s phone number. Her attempts at finding or contacting Jamila are unsuccessful for 18 years.

In Alexandria, the materially unsuccessful uncle realizes that this is his golden opportunity to upgrade himself and his children. He takes all of Jamila’s inheritance and makes her believe throughout her life that she is a financial burden.

Will Adam and Jamila reunite?

Adam’s life in Cairo is very different, he just finished his masters and is joining his father’s business firm by helping run it. His parents are very wealthy and he lives with his parents and sisters in a grandiose house with a garden and pool. The eldest, Azza is married and works in an advertising firm with her husband. The middle sister, Iman, is a violinist and was engaged, but her fiancé broke it off after she lost her sight in a car accident. The youngest is an artist, and still in university and is in love with Adam’s best-friend. Adam is the ideal brother, who is both caring and supportive.

Although Adam is engaged, his sister Iman says she feels that he has never fallen in love. Noha, Adam’s fiancée is a sexy, successful young woman. She’s his father’s business partner’s daughter, and works with Adam.

So how do Adam and Jamila meet? When will they meet? She’s in Alex and he’s in Cairo? He’s engaged soon to be married? Are you hooked yet?

After fifteen episodes, Jamila’s uncle is transferred from the restaurant he manages in Alexandria, to a restaurant in Cairo, and Jamila is hired as a cook in that same Restaurant. Who do you think comes to eat at the restaurant?

The secondary plots and characters also face varying problems and issues to add to the social dynamic. This is an attempt to reflect some of Egyptian society’s varying problems from infidelity, guilt, family planning issues, multiple divorces, tragic accidents.

There are many new faces and actors. Yosra Ellozy is Jamila, she’s a good fit for the role, and manages to portray the young, naive, principled young woman. Hassan El-Raddad is Adam, handsome, caring and the backbone of the family. They are the central plot, and if you are a sucker for a romantic story, by episode 20, you are hooked and rooting for them to overcome their circumstances and be together.

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