Cairo — Maybe there was no true crime story in Egyptian trendy historical past that impressed dramatists, filmmakers and writers the best way the just about one-century-old saga of convicted feminine serial killers Raya and Sakina Hamman did.
Most lately, Oscar-winning Irish writer-director Terry George and celebrated Egyptian creator and scriptwriter Mariam Naoum have teamed as much as draft a brand new thriller TV collection titled “The Alexandria Killings.” The TV collection is predicated on the true occasions of a serial killing spree by the 2 infamous sisters, Raya and Sakina, set in Egypt’s Mediterranean metropolis of Alexandria throughout the British colonial rule of the nation.
The brand new adaptation, in each Arabic and English, shall be co-produced by Dubai-based Entrance Row Filmed Leisure and London-based RocketScience by way of their Center East three way partnership Yalla Yalla and directed by George.
In accordance with a press release launched by the producers finish of April, the brand new collection will chronicle the story of the 2 siblings’ brothel operation, which concerned an influential circle of Egyptian and British officers, informants and statesmen and the eventual downfall of the sisters and their accomplices.
“Not solely will the TV collection concentrate on Raya and Sakina, it’s going to additionally depict the period once they lived and the occasions surrounding it, mixing fiction with actuality,” Naoum advised Al-Monitor.
“I sit up for collaborating with a very worldwide workforce of proficient producers and storytellers to research the exceptional true story of the Hammam sisters,” the assertion quoted George as saying.
“I’m significantly delighted to be working with famend Egyptian author Mariam Naoum to deal with the subject material that whereas containing all of the charming parts of a legendary crime additionally encompasses world themes of sexism, jealousy, greed and misplaced love. This shall be an exhilarating and entertaining journey,” he continued.
The producers additional introduced that the present can be the primary a part of a real crime anthology collection set in varied durations and locations throughout the Center East.
The Hammam siblings had been discovered responsible of kidnapping, robbing and murdering at the very least 17 ladies with the assistance of their husbands and two different employees. The victims’ our bodies had been discovered by the police buried below the killers’ home within the poor Labban neighborhood.
The story of Raya and Sakina impressed a few dozen different Egyptian works, particularly books, movies and theatrical performances, even together with comedies, with fictional particulars in some circumstances in an effort to add extra suspense to the story.
In an article revealed in native state-run Al-Ahram weekly again in 1999 — titled “The ladies killers” — late distinguished historian Yunan Labib Rizk recounted the rise and fall of Raya and Sakina as per the information tales revealed within the every day Arabic model of the newspaper across the time they had been arrested till they had been put to trial and convicted.
Rizk questioned why their story didn’t intrigue historians in Egypt the best way it ought to have.
“It’s curious that [the case] attracted little consideration amongst historians, maybe out of the idea that [it] was irrelevant to the overall course of political developments,” he wrote.
However, there could also be one other facet of the story. In 2015, scriptwriter Ahmed Ashour stirred an argument that made information headlines at the moment, confidently placing ahead a speculation, primarily based on 10-year impartial discipline analysis, concluding that Raya and Sakina had been harmless.
Ashour later wrote a characteristic movie, anticipated to be launched quickly in Egypt, which refutes the official narrative of the case and defends the 2 sisters, titled “Baraet Raya wa Sakina” (“The Innocence of Raya and Sakina”).
Within the movie, Ashour claims that Raya and Sakina had been framed by the native authorities in addition to the British occupiers for being concerned with the German intelligence in resisting and killing English troopers and officers in Alexandria. These incidents occurred throughout the time surrounding the 1919 standard revolution that demanded the liberation of Egypt.
“Raya and Sakina started their collection of ruthless crimes in Alexandria in November 1919. It isn’t inconsequential that the Egyptian port metropolis presently additionally noticed the well-known standard rebellion that pitted its main protagonists — stone-throwing youngsters — in opposition to the forces of the British Empire,” Rizk wrote.
“For the primary time in Egypt’s historical past, Egyptian ladies performed an influential function in preventing the occupation. And by spreading rumors and concern throughout the town that ladies had been subjected to kidnappings, the authorities and the occupiers thought that ladies wouldn’t go down the streets to protest in opposition to colonialism, fearing for his or her lives,” Ashour argued.
Primarily based on the case file, Raya and Sakina by no means pleaded responsible.
“Raya’s teenage daughter Badeea was the one who advised the police and prosecution concerning the killings and the buried corpses. She was later killed in a hearth that broke out within the orphanage the place she was positioned after the arrest and execution of her mom and the imprisonment of her father,” Ashour stated.
He added, “There have been additionally clear discrepancies within the police investigations and witnesses’ accounts within the unique case file, which I’m going to current in my movie.”
However whether or not the 2 sisters had been responsible or not, the reality stays a thriller.
“I can neither refute nor affirm Ashour’s principle. He could also be proper and he could also be unsuitable,” Naoum concluded.