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Why Egypt’s Lack of Children’s Media Alienates Youth

August 5, 2022

Translated books sit on street corners gathering curb-side dust, their vacuum-sealed plastic wraps starting to tear. ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ (2003) sits translated, side by side with a self-help book on how to get rich fast. The cinema house across the street boasts new local releases—gritty dramas, raunchy comedies, and of course, the occasional children’s film. The occasional, foreign children’s film. While the Egyptian book industry in recent years has been far more active in the pursuit of creating exciting, novel children’s content—with explorations of language and image, as seen in the efforts of Manar Hazaa, who dedicates her work to helping children marry colloquial Arabic with its formal counterpart—the film industry has consistently lagged behind. There is little in the way of cinema and film that caters to children, little to showcase the ins and outs of Egyptian childhood, or the intricacies that come with schoolhood and friendships. While some cinema houses like Zawya have attempted to be more inclusive in their type of screening—such as promoting films for visually-impaired children—the fact remains that the film in and of itself does not feature Egyptian children…

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