Omar (TV series)

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Omar (Arabic: عُمَرْ‎) or Farouk Omar (Persian: عمر فاروق‎) is a historical Arab television drama miniseries-serial that was produced and broadcast by MBC1 and directed by Hatem Ali. Co-produced by Qatar TV, the series is based on the life of Omar ibn Al-Khattab, the second Caliph of Islam, and depicts his life from 18 years old until the moments of his death. The series had to face large controversy due to its depiction of Omar, Abu Bakr, Uthman and Ali, the four Rashidun Caliphs, along with other characters, who some Muslims believe should not be depicted, much like the Prophet Mohammad. The series consists of 30 episodes and was originally aired in the month of Ramadan since July 20, 2012. It was made at a cost of 200 million Saudi riyals and filmed in Morocco, primarily in the cities of Marakesh, Tangiers, El Jadida, Casablanca and Mohammedia. After the series was broadcast on MBC, it was dubbed into several languages for international broadcast and subtitled in English on YouTube; it received great support from many different scholarly bodies and people watching it. As the series depended largely on reliable historical established facts, the series did not face criticism in terms of its content, as past films faced.

The series starts with one of the pilgrimage of caliph Omar where he delivers speeches to the pilgrims. The next scene comes with an exploration on Mecca of the caliph where he emotionally flashbacks to his own 18 year's life when he was a young boy working for his rude father Khattab ibn Nufayl. The flashback perspective of Omar shows all the past story of his life from when he was a wrestler, a businessman and above all one of the leaders of the Quraish, and then to his life after his conversion into Islam being one of the closest companions of prophet Muhammad and an immensely devoted believer, a brave inspiration for all the contemporary Muslims and a bold warrior in all the contemporary Islamic battles. The story goes through the Meccan victory, the prophet's death, Abu Bakr's legacy as caliph and his death, and finally Omar's legacy. From viewer's eye perspective, his legacy as caliph shows the biographical stories of improvements and complexities of his own caliphate till his death through assassination by Abu Lulu.

Two actors of this series, Hassan Al-Jundi and Muna Wassef, both acted (as Abu Jahl and Hind respectively) in the 1970s Arabic language film Al Risalah (الرسالة), the version of Moustapha Akkad's religious biopic The Message (a.k.a.Mohammad, Messenger of God) made for the Arab World. Hassan Al-Jundi also acted as Kisra in the English language film while his counterpart in Al Risalah played the character of Abu Jahl in the same film.

The project was started in 30 September 2010 through an agreement signed by Middle East Broadcasting Center and Qatar Media agency (Qatar TV) to make a drama series on the life of Caliph Omar, scheduled to be aired during the Ramadan of 2011. The chief of MBC group Waleed al Ibrahim stated that, the drama would not aim at profits:

The dramatic work is not regarded from the profit or loss perspectives.

Saudi producers, the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), said the series is the largest ever Arabic production, with 30,000 actors and a technical team from 10 different countries who toiled 300 days to make the 31-part series. The director Ali said that building a replica of Mecca and the surrounding area was a challenge that faced him until he and the crew finally chose a location in Morocco. The series needed a huge crew amount to 500 actors, actresses, and extras in one single day. Ali also pointed out, several scenes in the series were difficult to shoot like which elephant treads on one of the actors.

This page was last edited on 14 February 2018, at 10:36.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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