17 user 41 critic

Captain Abu Raed (2008)

When an old airport janitor finds a captain's hat in the trash, he gets pulled into the lives of children in his poor neighborhood. He weaves imaginary stories of his world adventures to offer hope in the face of their harsh reality.




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14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Abu Raed
Rana Sultan ...
Hussein Al-Sous ...
Odai Qedese ...
Tareq (as Udey Al-Qiddissi)
Ghandi Saber ...
Abu Murad
Dina Raad-Yaghnam ...
Um Murad
Mohammad Qteshat ...
Nadim Mushahwar ...
Faisal Majali ...
Lina Attel ...
Nour's Mom
Ali Maher ...
Nour' s Dad
Khaled Al-Safi ...
Rami Samara ...
Ayat Najah Abd Al-Sadeq ...
Petra (as Ayat Daoud)
Khuloud Khaled Issa ...


Abu Raed is an old airport janitor who has always yearned of seeing the world but has never been able to afford to travel. One day a group of children in his poor neighborhood assume he is a pilot and beg him to share stories of the world outside of Amman, Jordan. Through imaginary tales a friendship forms and he finds the grim realities of the children's home life. He takes it upon himself to make a difference. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An unlikely airport janitor makes a difference in the life of a boy in his poor neighborhood. See more »




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Release Date:

6 February 2008 (Jordan)  »

Also Known As:

Abu Raed kapitány  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The passing captain that Murad looks up to at the airport is a real pilot for Royal Jordanian. That is Captain Ramzi Matalqa, the director's father. See more »


It would be unlikely that a pilot of Noor's age (early thirties) would have acquired enough seniority to be a pilot or co-pilot of the wide bodied aircraft Royal Jordanian use to fly to New York. See more »

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User Reviews

Good but some might not like the rather vague ending--though there is a lot to like about this one.
7 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Captain Abu Raed" is, according to IMDb, the first full-length movie form Jordan in 50 years! Considering all the nice qualities in this one, I sure hope to see more from the Jordanian film industry--though I fear that few will actually see this film or appreciate the film's finer qualities. Sure, it does NOT have a clear ending and is far from formulaic--but there is a lot to like about the picture.

Abu Raed (Nadim Sawalha) is a nice middle-aged man who works as a janitor at the airport in Amman, Jordan. However, he's also very lonely and through the course of this film you see him forge some new relationships. It all begins when Abu Raed discovers a pilot's hat in the trash. He takes it home and a child assumes he's a captain working for the airlines. Considering how he dresses and how he lives in a relatively ordinary part of town, you wonder how the kid could believe this. He even tells the kid he's NOT a pilot. However, the next day, a bunch of kids show up at his house and want to hear about his world travels. Again, he tells them he's not a pilot. However, later he relents and tells them all sorts of stories about his supposed exploits--and regales them with stories of pure fiction. However, he's able to fake it reasonably well because although he's a lowly janitor, he's very smart and reads voraciously. In fact, he even can speak a little French and English. This is how he meets his next friend--a lady pilot, Nour (Rana Sultan). They slowly become friends--and an unlikely friendship it is. Where does all this go? See the film. Just don't be surprised it it goes no where near where you expect!

The best thing about this film are the characters, character development and dialog. The story itself has many interesting aspects but for me it's all about the characters and the nice, natural acting. This is a very gentle and sweet film--one that is perfect if you are looking for something different. Just be aware, its ending may leave you a little flat if you demand happy or clear endings.

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