By the end of 2016, a large number of newspapers and TV stations conducted surveys on their websites allowing people to cast votes about the best artistic and literary works of the year. Among the highly authentic opinion polls was the one launched by “Ma3akom Mona El Shazly” TV programme, in which the votes were collected by distributing 3,000 paper questionnaires all over Egypt with the help of 200 media students, in addition to the online voting process in which about 100,000 participated.
The voting was divided into 13 main categories that covered many aspects of the Egyptian cultural, political, sports, and artistic scenes. Among the prominent winners was Dr. Gamal Sheha, who was chosen as ”the best public figure” of the year with 45% because of his leading initiative for treating Hepatitis C in deprived Egyptian villages. Last year, this award had gone to Dr. Magdy Yacqob for his leading project in Aswan that contributes to combating heart diseases in Egypt and the Arab world. In addition, Mohammed Salah was chosen as the best football player, revealing his great popularity in Egypt.
Moreover, Ahmed Mourad’s latest novel Ard El Ellah (God’s Land) was chosen as the best literary work of the year with 54%. The novel takes the reader onto a journey back to the era of ancient Egypt where a number of religious and authoritarian conflicts take place.
After fierce competition with a big number of movies including Hepta, Eshtebak (Clash), Gaheem fel Hend (Hell in India), Nawara, Abou Shanab, and others, Men 30 Sana (30 Years Ago), starring Mona Zaki, Ahmed El-Sakka, and Sherif Mounir, was awarded the best movie prize while Donia Samir Ghanem was selected as the best actress of 2016 for her remarkable role in the Nelly and Sherihan Ramadan TV series.
Also, Mohammed Mamdouh was selected as the best actor in 2016 for his outstanding role in Grand Hotel TV series in which he played an autistic character that was manipulated by his wife and close friends. Similarly, Tamer Habib was chosen as best screen writer for the same series that achieved great success during Ramadan and raised waves of criticism and praise on social media. Although it was a surprise that TV actors dominated the polls this year, unlike past years where cinema actors were more dominant, this can be an important indicator to shed light on the increasing value of TV drama to the Egyptian audience after years of the hegemony of the Turkish-dubbed drama.
Moreover, Ahmed Sheba was chosen as the best pop singer of the year, Elissa was awarded the best female singer prize for her latest album with 52%, and Amr Diab was selected as the best singer of 2016 after gaining 46% of the votes in a competition that included a number of superstars such as Tamer Hosny, Kazem El-Saher, Hossam Habib, and Ramy Gamal. For her song Eish, Sokkar, Watan (Bread, Sugar, Home), the Syrian singer Assala was awarded the best song prize for her latest music video that tackled the current crisis of Syrian refugees and their homesickness and struggles in the new host countries they moved to.
The poll also dedicated one of its sections to the most popular videos on social media in which a big number of home videos participated. However, the award of the best video went to a song produced by pharmacy students recalling their memories in the faculty labs and classes.