Do you recall those childhood’s memorable Sunday nights when you so wanted to watch a favorite Lebanese TV series and your parents would force you to bed? There were probably one or two TV channels back then in Lebanon, and these series were hooking!
A warning though. After giving this listicle a read, you will probably ditch your Netflix schedule for a while and go on searching to download these series to watch them again! These are the dramas that were played by outstanding Lebanese actors, among which the TV giants of the era.
One of the best thrillers produced in 1975, A’shra Abid Zghar is the Lebanese version of Agatha Christie’s famous book. It made a big fuss when it was first released, and we’re not exaggerating. Whether we’re talking about its theme music, soundtracks or its suspenseful events, the whole concept of this series was such a success that a 2d remake was made in 2014.
Produced by Jean Fayyad, A’shra Abid Zghar was played by remarkable Lebanese actors like Naji Maalouf, Nuhad Aoun, Arlette Hadchiti, Antoine Moultaka, Michel Boutros, and Kamil Salameh, among others.
The plot revolves around the main character Shawki Chahine who comes back to take revenge from 10 hostages that have caused him harm. The protagonist in the story does creatively and innovatively put an end to each of his hostages’ life gradually, one after another.
And who can’t remember Abou Salim! Probably one of the most loved series at the time, the show ran for over a couple of generations.
Starring Abou Salim (Salah Tizani), Fehmen (Mahmoud Mabsout), Asaad (Abdallah Homsi), Shukri Shukrallah (Salah Sobh) and Zaghloul (Fouad Hassan), the series tackled social issues yet with good doses of comedy by the funny characters of Fehmen and Shukri.
The events of this series revolve around Abu Salim who portrayed the character of a reconciliatory wise man. This timeless show was the true reason behind the smile and laughter of Lebanese people back in the 80s.
#3. Al Moua’allima Wal Oustaz / The Teacher and the Professor (1980)
Abibibaboulo, Abibibaboulo…. Yes, that was the theme music of the unforgettable series Al Moua’allima Wal Oustaz, starring outstanding Lebanese actors like Ibrahim Meraachli as Barhoum, Hind Abi Llama as Hannoud and Layla Karam who’s known for her epic role as Sitt Zarifeh. This golden Lebanese series that accompanied our childhood talks about 2 professors who teach grown-up characters the basics of the Arabic Language. The professor Barhoum displays, throughout all the series’ episodes, his love for Hannoud in attempt to marry her.
Following the success of Al Moua’allima Wal Oustaz and given the unsurpassable Ibrahim Meraachli’s sense of humor, Captain Bob was another Lebanese TV great hit. The events of this series revolve around the life of a plane captain called Bob and his love affairs with beautiful air hostesses in the air and on the ground.
Directed by Fares El Hajj and written by the iconic Marwan Najjar, Talbin El-Orb is one of those deathless and glittery Lebanese drama series. It shed lights on human relations and challenges of matters related to love and marriage. Starring Viviane Antonios, Badih Abou Chacra, and Wissam Sabbagh, among many others, this show will flash back all the beautiful memories of your childhood upon watching just a single episode of it!
#6. Al-Assifa Tahobu Marratayn / The Storm Blows Twice (1995)
Written by the versed Choukri Anis Fakhoury and starring the Lebanese Diva Roula Hmadeh and the heroic Fady Ibrahim, Al-Assifa Tahob Marratayn is a must-watch series that tackles the romantic love affairs of a renowned businessman; a character played by Fady Ibrahim.
I can still remember the time when this light Lebanese sitcom used to show around 7:00 P.M Beirut Time. I was like 5 or 6 years old when that series was always articulated with my grilled cheese sandwich. That fun and light sitcom does actually talk about a small family composed of the father Ali El Khalil, his wife Julia Kassar and their 3 daughters Glory Fayad, Nadine Naoum and Tina Jarrous. It mainly speaks about that family who had to flee back to Lebanon and deal with a set of interpersonal and family matters.
Upon the success of Al Assifa Tahobu Marratayn, a new series was born: Nissa’a Fil Asifa, another hit written by the declamatory Choukri Anis Fakhoury and starring Roula Hmadeh, Fady Ibrahim, Yorgo Chalhoub, Carmen Lebbos, and Joseph Nano, among many others. It is actually an inseparable part of Al Assifa Tahobu Marratayn, given the similar matters and issues this series treats.
#9. Min Ahla Byout Ras Beirut / From the Most Beautiful Houses of Ras Beirut (Early 2000s)
How can one forget that everlasting theme music of this series? Mahzouz kteer, eh hazzo kbir yalli bifout a hal beit…, which means “he who lives in that house must surely be lucky,” became a teasing and sometimes ironic sentence repeated around by the Lebanese people.
This drama series is indeed epochal and ever-golden. It actually combines and groups both iconic and rising Lebanese actors at that time such as Najwa Kaadi, Ziad Najjar, Samer Abou Rizk, and Lama Najjar, among many others.
Min Ahla Byout Ras Beirut, with its fascinating script and captivating scenario, deals with drama, social and family matters of each of its cast who all live in the same house owned by the comforting and supportive mother Najwa Kaadi.
Written by the eloquent Marwan Najjar, Mariana is a series you don’t want to miss, in case you haven’t watched it before. In her role as Marianna, the captivating, alluring and charming actress Carole Al-Hajj portrays the character of the strong-willed and audacious town girl who constantly stands for herself. She, on the other hand, makes the protagonist -played by Youssef Haddad- falls for her, episode after episode.
#11. Ibnat Al-Mou’allim / The Daughter of the Teacher (2005)
Written by the versed female script and scenario author Mona Tayeh, Ibnat Al Mou’allim is both inspiring and intriguing. This Lebanese soap opera tells the story of a daughter -played by Carmen Lebbos- who sacrifices her life to keep her father’s dream alive after his death. May dedicates her life to running the small village’s school established by her father.
Back in 2006, while Lebanon was undergoing several life-changing and transitional political events and conflicts, Marwan Najjar brought out to the public this masterpiece series that depicted, in his own words and fashionable writing style, what was happening on the ground.
It stars the elegant performer Rita Hayek and the handsome Nicolas Mouawad who played the roles of a young couple living amidst all the Lebanese conflicts and obstacles of that time while keeping room for their love to bloom and blossom.
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