18 user 44 critic

Captain Abu Raed (2007)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 February 2008 (Jordan)
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.


Amin Matalqa


Amin Matalqa
14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




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


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 »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Jordan's official selection for the 81st Academy Awards (2009). In the category, Best Foreign Language film. 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 »

User Reviews

a few steps from greatness
20 September 2008 | by mrforgetfulSee all my reviews

I had the privilege of seeing Captain Abu Raed at Ohio State (Matalqa's alma mater) with the director present. It was moving to hear the stories of the children actors and their struggles thus far in life. Matalqa also commented about how religion and terror and anything else you usually associate with the middle east is absent in this movie, which is one of the first reactions I got by the end of the movie. It's nice to see a movie not trying to plug in some political statement where it's not needed.

Captain Abu Raed had a great premise, with an aging janitor pretending to be a pilot and telling neighborhood kids about his "grand adventures." The cinematography was wonderful, and the music added emotional depth. The acting was convincing overall, with the leads impressively not being too impressive (they acted like ordinary people). My biggest complaint is the pacing. It felt like there were two halves of the movie that were completely different from each other, like the second half was almost a sequel to the first. This gave the movie a somewhat uneven feeling, but overall I'd say it didn't substantially take away from the finished product. There were some subplots that I would've liked further developed, but that would probably have added to the unevenness.

Overall, a good first film, maybe a few steps from greatness, and I look forward to Amin Matalqa's future endeavors.

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Official Sites:

Official site




Arabic | French | Italian

Release Date:

6 February 2008 (Jordan) See more »

Also Known As:

Abu Raed kapitány See more »

Filming Locations:

Amman, Jordan See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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