Years ago, the saying “a man is better than a home” was a kind of pressure that society puts on a girl to marry before she gets old and becomes a “spinster” or an “old maid”. Where society views the unmarried female as deficient or guilty, as if the girl is not complete and her entity is not realized except through marriage.
Despite the discussion of the phenomenon of spinsterhood and the delay in the age of marriage in the cinema and on television, many films and series have contented themselves with presenting the phenomenon in a satirical way, while very few works have shed light on the causes of this phenomenon. In light of this, the cinema was unable to find solutions to the problem that had afflicted girls and their families for many years. Instead of treating the misconceptions associated with the idea of marriage, and changing the idea of considering the delay in marriage a stain on the forehead of the girl, she contented herself with trying to propose individual solutions to confront the phenomenon of spinsterhood.
In this article, we will discuss in more detail the film and television works that presented the phenomenon of spinsterhood within its events.
Ibn Hamido movie
Comedy movie reviewed the phenomenon of spinsterhood in a funny way. Through the character “Hamida”, played by the artist Zeinat Sedky. She is the older sister whose marriage has been delayed and is trying to find a groom by any means, so as not to be a reason to delay her younger sister’s marriage. Zeinat Sedky has presented the character of the spinster girl in several films, the most famous of which are “The Street of Love” and “My wife’s groom”.
The film stars Ismail Yassin, Ahmed Ramzy, Hend Rostom, Zeinat Sedky, Abdel Fattah Al-Qasry, written by Abbas Kamel, and directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab. It was introduced in cinemas in 1957.
A Beginning and an End Movie
A dramatic film that discussed the issue of spinsterhood from a different perspective, reviewing the negative impact that society has on the personality and behavior of the girl who was late in marriage. Through the character of “Nafisa”, the girl who was deprived of the blessing of beauty, which made her fail to find a suitable husband, which caused all the transformations that her character went through after that. As “Nafisa” has become in her heart, she seeks to prove that she is desirable and that she has the right to love and marry, even if that makes her work as a prostitute.
The film stars Amina Rizk, Sana Jamil and Omar Sharif, written by Salah Ezz El-Din and Ahmed Shoukry, and directed by Salah Abu Seif. It was introduced in cinemas in 1960.
A woman from the time of love series
A drama series that discussed many social problems facing the family, such as addiction, unemployment and youth migration. It also touched on the issue of spinsterhood and the pressures that society exerts on girls whose marriage has been delayed, which pushes them to accept any groom, to escape the specter of spinsterhood. Through the character of “Labiba”, who isolated herself because of her late marriage, and everyone accused her of being curious and envious, which made her isolate more and more. After she agreed to marry a man to escape from spinsterhood, she discovers that he married her to serve him and his wife, so her dreams of a happy married life turn into nightmares, and she asks for a divorce.
The series stars Samira Ahmed, Abla Kamel, Youssef Shaaban, Hisham Selim, Mohamed Riad, Karim Abdel Aziz, Yasmine Abdel Aziz and Jihan Fadel, written by Osama Anwar Okasha, and directed by Ismail Abdel Hafez. It was introduced in cinemas in 1998.
The Spinister’s lane series
A social comedy series that discusses the problem of spinsterhood in Egyptian society. Through the psychiatrist “Wajeeda” who lives in a popular neighborhood, she decided to adopt a new way to treat her patients, as she goes to them at home instead of attending the clinic. To discover the suffering of many girls and young men due to the problem of spinsterhood, when she met a girl who refused to marry because she was spending on her brothers after the death of her parents, and when she decided to marry, she did not find anyone to marry her because of her advanced age. Another beautiful girl, but her family’s problems with the residents of the neighborhood delayed her marriage. The series also sheds light on the problem of spinsterhood among men, so we find a man who refused to marry in his youth, and when he decided to marry, he chose a young girl who rejected him, so he became sad and isolated people. Another man was offered to him by a rich woman who had missed the train of marriage to marry her, but he refused so that he would not be a kept man.
The series stars Magda Zaki, Kamal Abu Rayh, Sherine, Nashwa Mustafa and Lotfi Labib, written by Mahdi Youssef, and directed by Samir Ragab. It was introduced in 2006.
Maids at 30 series
A reality series that discusses many social issues, the most important of which is the delay in the age of marriage. By presenting the stories of 10 unmarried girls over the age of thirty, and the feelings and thoughts of each one. The series raises a question about the reason for the delay in marriage, and is it the difficult financial situation, unemployment, the difference between social classes, or the aspirations of girls. In the events of the series, we meet different types of girls with their problems and ambitions, including the TV presenter who seeks to achieve her dreams and ambitions, and with her success at work, she misses the train of marriage. The spoiled girl whose father passed away inherited a large sum of money, which makes her search for a groom with special specifications and free of defects. And an interior designer who loves to go out and travel, until she finds herself over thirty, so she tries to make up for her lack of marriage by being busy with her work.
The series starring Rania Youssef, Manal Salama, Menna Fadali, Randa Al-Behairy, Nada Bassiouni, Amira Fathi, Iman Ayoub and Siham Jalal, written by Mona Noureddine, directed by Taysir Abboud. It was introduced in 2008.
Series Yes I'm Still Single
A drama series that sheds light on the injustice inflicted by society on women whose marriage has been delayed. Through the story of “Amal”, the girl who has not been married for over forty and begins writing her daily diaries to record her suffering with society and people’s views of her, and asks about the name of the spinster and why women are described as only women without men. She also tries to find different ways to change society’s view of the spinster, for this purpose, she refuses to accept marriage with any unsuitable person just to get rid of spinsterhood. During the events, we see the inconveniences that Amal encounters in her daily life, starting with her inability to participate as a working member of the club to practice sports, as the club requires that she be a member of any family. Passing through her colleagues who burdened her ankle with work on the grounds that she is full-time and is only occupied by work. Even her siblings, who refused her frequent outings, travels, and fun times with her friends, under the pretext of fearing for her reputation from people’s conversations. And finally, the official authorities rejected her request to adopt a girl from the shelter, on the grounds that she is unmarried and that the adopted children must live in a family.
The series stars Ilham Shaheen, Menna Fadali, Nashwa Mustafa, Olfat Imam and Tahani Rashid, and written and composed by Azza Ezzat, and directed by Ahmed Yahya. It was introduced in 2010.
I want to get married series
A comedy series that discusses the issue of spinsterhood and the inappropriate groom in a cynical way. Through the personality of the pharmacist “Ola Abdel-Sabour”, who is close to thirty years of age, and wants to settle down and marry a suitable person, especially with the pressures exerted on her by her family and the community around her. Ola’s suffering appears in every episode with the men who propose to her, through bitter realistic situations that appear in a comic manner.
The series stars Hend Sabry, Sawsan Badr, Ahmed Fouad Selim and Raja Hussein. It is written by Ghada Abdel Aal and directed by Ramy Imam. It was introduced in 2010.
More precious than my life series
A social drama that discusses issues of interest to society and the family through the story of the struggling young man “Abdul Rahman” whose father dies in an accident, so he leaves education and takes charge of taking care of his brothers, and works in different jobs to be able to support them. During the events, we meet “Fatima” the uneducated older sister, who struggles with her brother “Abdul Rahman” to raise their sisters, until she reaches an old age without marrying or living a love story.
The series starring Mohamed Fouad, Hanan Mutawa, Ahmed Ratib, Rashwan Tawfiq, Heba Magdy and Tamer Abdel Moneim, written by Mohamed Fouad, and directed by Mustafa Al-Shall. It was introduced in 2010.
The movie “Two Girls from Egypt"
A social film that discusses many issues of concern to females, foremost of which is spinsterhood, customary marriage and anxiety about the unknown future in the absence of the husband. Through a group of girls who delayed their marriage until the fear of spinsterhood became controlling them. They are led by “Dalia” and “Hanan”, who failed to marry more than once, and refuse to have sexual relations outside marriage, even though some of their colleagues do so under the cover of customary marriage. The film reviews the concessions made by girls whose marriages have been delayed under the pressure of a harsh society. We find “Hanan” who has resorted to registering her details in a marriage office, and as the days go by, she makes many concessions regarding the specifications of the required groom. She also agrees, after her engagement, to go with her fiancé to a gynecologist to be sure of her virginity before marrying her. As for Dalia, she suggests to Hanan that you go together to meet one of the potential grooms in the travel hall at Cairo Airport, as he does not have enough time before traveling to meet each girl individually.
The film stars Saba Mubarak, Zina, Tariq Lotfi and Iyad Nassar, and is written and directed by Mohamed Amin. It was introduced in 2010.
A social drama series that revolves around the residents of an Egyptian neighborhood, whose personalities varied between those who adhere to the principles and morals they were brought up with, and those who deviate from these customs and traditions. During the events, we bump into one of the neighborhood’s residents, “Laila”, who spent her youth in the political struggle and defending the homeland, and she evaded engagement and marriage, until her age was late and she died in the state of marriage.
The series starring Nelly Karim, Sawsan Badr, Karima Mokhtar, Salwa Khattab, Salwa Muhammad Ali, Salah Abdullah, Mahmoud Abdel-Mughni and Basem Samra, written by Ahmed Abdullah, directed by Sameh Abdel Aziz. It was introduced in 2010.
All Our Neighbors Series
A realistic social drama series that follows the stories of the residents of an apartment building in Heliopolis. It presents different models and personalities from members of society, and discusses issues of interest to the Egyptian family, including the issue of spinsterhood. Through the character of “Dua”, a religiously observant girl who rejects many grooms because they do not agree with her intellectually, and her engagement is annulled several times until her family accuses her of being unlucky. She wanted to get married to escape the pressure of her family and the description of a spinster. We also find “Hala” who faces great pressure from her family to marry before she grows old, but she does not want to go through the experience of marriage and yet dreams of having children, so she agrees with a colleague at work to marry, but it is not a marriage in the traditional sense, but a marriage Just for childbearing, and then they get a divorce without the slightest parental responsibility for the child.
The series stars Dalal Abdel Aziz, Sherine, Hani Adel, Rahma Hussein, Hedy Karam, Sarah Abdel Rahman, and Safa Jalal, written by Heba Yousry, and directed by Ayten Amin. It was introduced in 2017.
“Very Pretty" series - won’t we attend your wedding
The story “Won’t we attend your wedding” within the events of the series “Zay El Qamar” deals with society’s harsh view of the phenomenon of spinsterhood and the delay in girls’ marriage. Through the story of “Amani”, a beautiful girl who enters into a confrontation with society, which views her in an unjust and reactionary way, due to the delay in her marriage.
The series stars Jumana Murad, Abbas Abu Al Hassan, Maha Abu Auf, Hala Fakher, Nermin Zaazaa, Olfat Omar, written by Shahira Salam, and directed by Mohamed Abdel Rahman Hamaki. It was introduced in 2021.
“Very Pretty” Series- the story of We wish you get a baby of your own
The series “Very Pretty” presents a set of separate stories, each of which presents a women’s issue facing women in our eastern societies, and the story of “Aqbal Awadak” dealt with the phenomenon of spinsterhood and its impact on society, and how the delay of girls in marriage affects the family, and how family, friends and society deal with the spinster girl. . Through “Shadia”, the mathematics teacher, who found that her life is wasted in her hands because of her preoccupation with her mother and her family, until the ghost of spinsterhood is chasing her, and she is facing many conflicts and psychological pressures, whether from her family or the people around her.
The series starring Mai Kassab, Hala Fakher and Mohamed Gomaa, written by Hassan Saleh, and directed by Moataz Hosam. It was shown in 2021