The much awaited drama series based on the life of Selahuddin al-Ayyubi, a revered Muslim general popularly known in the West as Saladin, was simultaneously released in Pakistan and Turkiye earlier this week. National stars were seen at the launch of the drama in Karachi on Thursday.
“Such kind of a drama is the need of the hour as today’s generation is unfamiliar with Selahuddin al-Ayyubi who ruled Egypt, Iraq, Turkiye, and Hijaz for a long time,” caretaker Sindh Culture Minister Junaid Shah told Aaj News.
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. 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.
Shah went on to add that the target audience of the historical series was six billion non-Muslims, which had to be informed about the importance of religious harmony in Islam. He added that they have to be informed that the affairs of an empire could be run successfully under the principles of the Quran.
“This is the reason why non-Muslims also take the name of the great conqueror Selahuddin al-Ayyubi with respect,” the interim culture minister said.
Built on 200 acres, 50 acres of the land dedicated to the production was reserved for Selahuddin’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.
The caretaker government has decided to make a film on the life of Arab military commander Khalid ibn al-Walid after the drama production, Shah said.
According to one of the producers Kashif Ansari, the drama series was being made in Istanbul and dubbed in English, Turkish, and Urdu. The drama was being started with 100 episodes.
Pakistani artists would be seen in upcoming episodes, he said.
“The purpose of the drama series is to give Islam’s message of peace to the world. Islam is a very peaceful religion. We have to show the time when Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and people of all schools of thought lived happily together in the era of Selahaddin Eyyubi,” Kashif stated.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Naeemur Rehman, PPP leader Agha Siraj Durrani, actors Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui, Jawaria Saud, Ashna Shah, and Ayesha Umar Seemat also attended the event.