34 user 23 critic

The Yacoubian Building (2006)

Omaret yakobean (original title)
Meditations on corruption, fundamentalism, prostitution, homosexuality, and drugs in central Cairo.


Marwan Hamed


Alaa' Al-Aswany (novel), Wahid Hamid
9 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Adel Emam ... Zaki El Dessouki
Nour El-Sherif ... Mohammad Azzam
Youssra ... Christine
Essad Youniss Essad Youniss ... Dawlat El Dessouky (as Issad Younis)
Ahmad Bedair Ahmad Bedair ... Malaak (as Ahmed Bedeir)
Hind Sabri ... Bothayna (as Hind Sabry)
Khaled El-Sawi ... Hatem Rachid (as Khaled El Sawy)
Khaled Saleh ... Kamal El Fouly
Ahmed Rateb Ahmed Rateb ... Fanous
Somaya El Khashab Somaya El Khashab ... Soad
Basem Samrah ... Abd Raboh (as Bassem Samra)
Muhammad Emam ... Taha El Shazly
Youssef Dawood Youssef Dawood ... Fekry Abdel Shaheed (as Youseff Daoud)
Talat Zakariyya Talat Zakariyya ... Bar Owner
Yehia El-Fakharany ... Narrator


Cairo: a 70-year-old building of once-luxury flats with tenements on the roof. Zika, an aging libertine, feuds with his sister. Pius Haj Azzam takes a second wife, in secret, to satisfy sexual drive within religious bounds. Bothayna, poor and beautiful, supports her family, wanting to do so with dignity intact. Her former fiancé, Taha, the janitor's son, humiliated by the police, turns to fundamentalism. Hatem, a gay editor, seduces and corrupts a young man from the sticks. Two brothers, Copts, one a tailor and one Zika's factotum, connive for property. Allah is on most everyone's lips, and corruption is in their hearts. European values, both refined and worldly, provide a subtext. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Did You Know?


Official submission of Egypt for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 79th Academy Awards in 2007. See more »


When Hatem is drinking while remembering his youth near the end of the film, he finishes his drink. Seconds later, he finishes it again. See more »


La Foule
(Que Nadie Sepa Mi Suffrir)
Music by Angel Cabral
Spanish lyrics by Enrique Dizeo
French lyrics by Michel Rivgauche
Performed by Édith Piaf
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User Reviews

Culture shock
12 May 2009 | by fvilaSee all my reviews

What I like most about this movie is that it opens a window into an unknown world for me, that of relations between men an women in modern Egypt, and it does so in a style that is at the same time sumptuous an unfamiliar. People do things you wouldn't expect, despite the slightly heavy-handed handling of emotions. There are areas where the movie is not perfect: it is so highly pessimistic and denounces the greed and selfishness of Egyptian men with so much vigor that it appears somewhat simplistic. It does tend to ramble a bit. But the power and the humor of the movie (it is quite funny, despite being tragic) transcends all that and makes those minor faults. I understand the director is very young, so he will have ample time to overcome and transcend these youthful imperfections. I didn't like Slumdog Millionaire because it told me everything about India that I already knew: it feels like a package tour where you are shown the sites you expect to see, and are whisked from one location to another. For a western viewer, Omaret yakobean is like a journey where you land at the airport and are immediately carried away by the atmosphere, the culture shock, the bustling streets, the misunderstandings, from which you emerge with challenged assumptions and a wider view of the world.

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Official Sites:

Bac Films [France]


Egypt | France


Arabic | French | English

Release Date:

21 June 2006 (Egypt) See more »

Also Known As:

The Yacoubian Building See more »

Filming Locations:

Alexandria, Egypt See more »


Box Office


EGP18,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Good News See more »
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