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Osman. Osman was created by the Egyptian author and actor `Ali al-Kassar and appeared in a number of plays, cartoons, and films from 1916 to at least 1949, beginning with the play Al-Barbari fi al-Jaysh.

Osman `Abd al-Basit is “barbari misr al-wahid,” the “only Nubian in Egyptian.” He is half-Nubian, half-Sudanese, and very dark–he is played in blackface by al-Kassar–and is rural, innocent, and patriotic. (Al-Kassar plays him as a hick). Osman’s encounters with others highlight either his own naivete, the corruption of big city inhabitants, the indignities and racism which British officials treat Egyptians, or the racism of lighter-skinned Egyptians. Even while serving in the Army and helping catch foreign spies, he is treated badly by everyone, foreign and Egyptian alike. Occasionally Osman meets Kishkish Bey.

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