Who is the Safah El Giza (Butcher of Giza)? Serial killer true crime TV series starring Ahmed Fahmy takes Egypt by storm

Who is the Safah El Giza (Butcher of Giza)? Serial killer true crime TV series starring Ahmed Fahmy takes Egypt by storm
Released recently on Shahid TV, 'Butcher of Giza' tells the true crime story of Egypt's infamous murderer, Gaddafi Farag, topping the charts in a country where serial killers are rare.
2 min read
22 September, 2023
The series depicts the life of an Egyptian serial murderer. [Getty Images/File photo]

Shahid TV’s newly released ‘Butcher of Giza’ (Safah El Giza) tells the story of notorious Egyptian serial killer Gaddafi Farag, whose case has gripped Egypt since his arrest in 2020.

Serial killers are a rare phenomenon in Egypt and the Arab world. One of the previously notorious criminals who received a popular culture treatment in Egypt were Raya and Sakina, two sisters and serial killers involved in killing women in the Labban neighbourhood of Alexandria in the early 1900s.

Within a week of its release, the new series has topped viewership charts, becoming Egypt's top-watched show and the second most-viewed on Shahid, an Arabic streaming platform, in Qatar. Its main star has hinted at a second season.

The series focuses on Gaddafi Faraj Abdul Ati who killed at least four people including a woman he was married to. He was also involved in fraud and robberies.

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Gaddafi was sentenced to death in a 2021 trial. However, as of now, the execution has been put on hold due to an appeal. 

He was handed four death sentences in 2021. A court upheld one of the sentences, with the other three to be reviewed in 2024

Starring Ahmed Fahmy, Rakeen Saad, Basem Samrah and other popular regional actors, the series offers a fictionalised take on Gaddafi’s meticulously planned murders of his close friends and family.

In the series, Gaddafi, who is portrayed by actor Ahmed Fahmy, manages to escape each crime scene with multiple fake identities and a charismatic facade that kept him away from the eyes of Egyptian authorities.

The series also delves into scenes from the childhood and lesser-known personal background of Gaddafi Farag. 

@samartarikofficial صاحي بعتمة بين شفافي ننادي ننادي .. #عتمة #سمر_طارق #سفاح_الجيزة #samartarik #شاهد #fypシ ♬ original sound - Samar Tarik

Viewers expressed diverse opinions on social media. While some applauded the social and psychological insights reflected in the script, others criticised what they perceived as over-dramatic performances from the actors, particularly the newer faces.