Afrah El Obba is one of the most successful series of this year! It’s based on a Naguib Mahfouz Novella, which revolves around the same main events and characters. Naguib Mahfouz’s version had a few main differences, though. Here are the biggest differences between the novella and the series.
Tarek Ramadan and Sarhan El Hilaly aren’t Brothers
In the series, the characters are given a cool background story where they are step brothers; same mother, different fathers. It works quite nicely with the Hamlet feel of the entire show, and we believe Mahfouz might have even found the change interesting, but he didn’t write it like that.
Taheya Lived Alone
Mona Zaki’s character, Taheya, comes from a big, complex family in the show. She has two sisters, each one of them struggling with her own demons, a traumatized mother, and a homosexual, unavailable father. Her morally grey family have brought so much to the show, but if you expect to read more about them in the novella, you’d be disappointed. None of these characters exist in the novella; they weren’t even written by Naguib Mahfouz!
“Tarek admittedly uses women for sex and money. He’s a drunk and a drug addict.”
Abbas doesn’t Stick Around
In the series, the 30 episodes span over one performance of the play, and Abbas is present during the whole thing, watching as the story he wrote unfolds. This isn’t the case in the novella. First of all, Abbas disappears after delivering the play to Sarhan, and then the play is performed a few times before he shows up again.
Tarek Ramadan is No Angel
He isn’t in the series either, but he’s a sweet-natured, hopeless romantic in the series. He isn’t like that in the novella. He admittedly uses women for sex and money. He’s a drunk and a drug addict. Also, he admits to abusing Taheya verbally, emotionally and physically.
“You know how in Afrah El Obba the main mystery was just why would Abbas kill Taheya? Yeah, in the novella it’s said from the very beginning.”
Abbas has a Damaged Eye
Perhaps it was Mahfouz’s way of subtly hinting that he’s a devilish little child? Abbas is said to be a strong young man, very intelligent, and has a problem with one of his eyes and is even called “half blind” by angry Tarek Radwan.
The Murder Mystery isn’t There
You know how in Afrah El Obba the main mystery was just why would Abbas kill Taheya? Yeah, in the novella it’s said from the very beginning. He kills her because she cheated on him. Pure and simple.
The Murder itself is not the Same!
We supposed Abbas chokes Taheya and their child together in the series for dramatic effect. However, in the novella he simply replaces her medicine with aspirins. Far more convenient, right?