The Exiles

Ten years ago, young Egyptians changed the course of history, overthrowing Hosni Mubarak after a 30-year reign and mesmerising the world. They bore the torch of hope for the Arab world, with a dream of turning their country into an open, democratic and free society. But that dream never came true.
The leaders of Egypt’s revolution now find themselves hunted, imprisoned or chased out of their homes and left to fend for themselves abroad. Alone in exile and struggling to make sense of their misfortunes, these revolutionaries look back at the events that began on 25 January 2011 and that haunt them today.
The Exiles is a film speaking to Hosam Yahya, Walid Abdel Raouf, Islam Lotfi, Ali Khafagy, and Osama Gawish. Five Egyptian activists from different backgrounds and political ideologies in Tahrir Square. A decade on, they come together again to talk about how their lives have been impacted, their struggles with trauma and isolation and the nagging question they cannot escape: was their revolution worth it?

  • Hossam Sarhan
    The End User
  • Khaled Shalaby
  • Mohamad Elaasar
    Key Cast
  • Mohamed Hassan
    Executive Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 3, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Black Magic Raw
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Middle East Eye
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - Hossam Sarhan

My name is Hossam Sarhan.

I am a film producer and director with experience on a multiple-award-winning investigative documentary.

I have a keen interest in investigations on human rights issues affecting communities from the Middle East.

In 2017, I was the UK executive producer for the multiple-award-winning investigation "the End User". It revealed how weapons were being used in the war in Yemen had been supplied by the UK and the US, among others, in an apparent abuse of international laws and trade agreements.

The investigation found huge success, with around three million views. The main producer and investigator Mohamed Aboelgheit had won the Fetisov Journalism Award first prize in the category "Outstanding Contribution to Peace" In the year 2019 and had won the gold medal from the United Nations Correspondents Associations as well.

In 2015, I was one of the first people who helped in establishing the Arabic version of the lead platform AJ. I recruited top talent to help produce videos that received the most views on the Arabic platforms. All stories have more than 1 million views/each.

In November 2015 I moved to London for a different challenge, I worked as a promo producer for a leading Arabic-Tv, I was the main scriptwriter for the promos, I’ve written nearly 1000 scripts and my promos got around 20 million views around different platforms.

Back in 2012, while still in Egypt, I created a political campaign in my country that led to the victory of the first civilian president in Egyptian history. My campaign called “Squeeze a lemon”, which is similar to the famous English idiom “with a pinch of salt”

The campaign found huge success and was widely popular. A lot of people had captured themselves squeezing a lemon over their head after voting.

Due to its popularity, the civil candidate had won over the opposing candidate and gained 13 million votes.

In relation to the campaign, a new political term had been formed “The lemon squeezers”, and the press and media named the 7 million votes that the candidate got in the second round of elections with this name, the name I created.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"The Exiles" is a personal journey, a personal story that represents me and most of my friends.
In this film, you are going to see a part of ourselves, and you will decide whether we deserved better or not.