The Boursa Exchange thought of an ingenious movie plot. It should be hitting the festival circuit in 2011 at the latest.
Here’s the treatment:
Like all good stories this one begins on Cairo Scholars. A middling Arabic student of American extraction (he’s named Seth, not sure who’ll play him) posts a message seeking an old Egyptian blind man with excellent Arabic (Omar Sherif is the obvious choice for this role, but I’m willing to accept suggestions), because he wants to practice his diction by reading the newspapers to an old blind man who will correct his mispronunciations. At first he receives a cavalcade of abuse from his fellow Cairo Scholars for the blatant ageism and sightism of his posting, to the point that Samer Ali (played by that lady from The Weakest Link) suspends him from the list. He thinks all hope is lost. But lo! One day an email lands in his inbox inquiring about his inquiry, from the beautiful daughter of a blind man that fits the bill.
So he and the gruff but ultimately lovable old blind man start parlaying at a Boursa café, with the old man correcting his pronunciation and also reminiscing about the olden days. We haven’t decided what his past should be yet, but leaning toward he was a brilliant young linguist/member of the Muslim Brotherhood blinded in Nasser’s prisons, who never quite recovered from the experience. Also important to note that his daughter never forgave him for what she sees as his having put his political commitments ahead of his familial duties, and there is some lingering resentment there.
Anyway the man approaches death, but his interactions with the young American have stirred up his memories and he apologizes to his daughter and they have a teary scene together that will have the theaters running with tears.
Of course during this time the young American and the daughter are carrying on an incredibly respectable and not-at-all steamy flirtation, and on his deathbed the old man grants the young man his daughter’s hand in marriage, granted he converts to Islam. (In one particularly explosive scene the young man admits to his atheism, which almost ends the whole newspaper reading relationship.)
Production notes: Soooo cheesy and formulaic! Bound to be a success! Also very easy to translate if the action takes place in America with an old blind American and young Arab.