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The movie King of the Sands by director Najdat Anzour opened on Thursday in a special screening at Dar al-Assad for Culture and House (the Opera House) in Damascus.



The movie, produced by Anzour, is a historical biopic on the founder of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz Al Saud, depicting the deal between Abdulaziz and Britain in which he was supplied with weapons and funds to eliminate the Al Rasheed dynasty which was ruling Riyadh at the time and get rid of the Ottomans in a precursor to the Western occupation of the region and the Sykes-Picot agreement.

The movie also details the alliance between Al Saud and the Wahabis which allowed them to seize control of Saudi Arabia and rule by the sword and their interpretation of religion, setting the scene for the salafi, extremist and jihadist movements we see today.


The movie had originally debuted in London on November 29th. It stars Italian actors Fabio Testi as Abdulaziz and Marco Foschi as the young Abdulaziz, in addition to British actor Bill Fellows as John Philby.

Najdat Anzour directed several historical TV series, most notable of which is “Ukhwet al-Turab” (Brothers of Soils) which depicted the history of Syria and the region under the yoke of the Ottomans in the WWI era.

He also directed the first Syrian historical fantasy series, “Al-Jawareh” (Birds of Prey), and tackled the issue of religious extremism and terrorism in the controversial series “Ma Malakat Aymanukem” and “Al-Huur al-Eyn,” with his works earning him both awards and acclaim and drawing the ire of extremists.


SANA – H. Sabbagh

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