The much-awaited television series on the life of Selahuddin al-Ayyubi, a revered Muslim general popularly known in the West as Saladin, would be aired on Turkiye’s TRT on November 13, Junaid Shah, the caretaker Sindh culture minister said on Thursday.
“This series will give a big platform to Pakistani artists. The world will see our artists through Turkish dramas,” he told Aaj News after an event in Karachi. “The series will also the technical staff – including set makers, dubbing artists, sound, light, and other areas – of our industry as the Turkish industry is more advance than ours.”
Kudüs Fatihi Selahaddin Eyyubi, a historical series about the life of the conqueror of Jerusalem in the Crusades Selahaddin Eyyubi, is a joint venture of Pakistani and Turkish producers.
The series, featuring actors from the two countries, has been shot in Turkey and is planned to have three seasons. Earlier this week, one of the producers and actor Adnan Siddiqui shared the teaser on Instagram. Humayun Saeed and Kashif Ansari are other two producers.
In the three years, Shah added that the people from different departments would not just have an opportunity to learn but earn a good name for their country.
He said that the film fraternity would try to have Turkish actors working in Pakistani films and dramas.
Twenty-five per cent of the cast is Pakistani in the drama series produced by Pakistan’s Ansari & Shah Films and Turkey’s Akli Films. The show will see Turkish actor Ugur Gunes essay the titular role of Salahuddin Ayyubi. The series will feature Ayesha Omar, Farhan Ali Agha, Humayun Saeed, Adnan Jilani and Ushna Shah.
The minister stated that it was important to mention Salahuddin Ayyubi in the present day and especially on the current situation of Palestine. “Recep Tayyip Erdogan will himself release the series at the President’s House on November 13. Later, we will launch it on November 16 through a ceremony in Karachi.”
He added: “We have a history of our own. One person after another has passed through us but we shy away from naming our heroes. We don’t need to create Superman and Batman. These fictional heroes create nations that have no history of their own.”
On the first day, Shah said that he fell off his chair when he saw the funding of the drama, wondering how it would happen as it was “very difficult” to make a Turkish drama that had 500 episodes and lasted for three years.
According to Shah, it was nothing less than an impossible task to make a series. “We have dubbed the series in English, Urdu, and Arabic so that the message of the drama reaches more people.”
Built on 200 acres, 50 acres of the land dedicated to the production was reserved for Salahuddin’s historic palace in Damascus. The set also featured shops, and quarters of Muslim and Christian communities of the time, and a mosque is also being constructed in its vicinity.
Selahaddin Eyyubi will revolve around the life of the famed 12th-century Muslim commander Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, Salahuddin (1138-1193), who led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant. After the battle of Hattin in 1187, he retook Jerusalem from the Crusaders who had conquered Palestine 88 years earlier.
Shah said: “We get inspired by outsiders and their stories. Next year, we will also make a documentary based on Sindh Sufi saints Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi.”