Egypt's artists and writers who passed away in 2016

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Dec 2016

A list of Egyptian artists and writers who passed away in 2016


23 December: Artist Gameel Shafiq

Born in 1938, Gameel Shafiq was an esteemed artist, who was awarded the jury prize for drawing at the 18th Alexandria International Biennale of Mediterranean Countries in 1994.

He worked as a press illustrator and was an expert at the Arab Organization of Education, Culture and Sciences (AICO) between 1979 and 1984.

Shafiq held over 20 solo exhibitions, including some in Amman and Beirut. His works can be found on display at the state collection at the Egyptian Modern Art Museum, the Ministry of Culture and the Egyptian National Bank.

gameel shafiq
Artist Gameel Shafiq (Photo: courtesy of Fine Arts Sector)

14 December: Actor Ahmed Rateb

Born January 13, 1949, Rateb appeared in more than sixty films since 1979, and was known for his duet with veteran Egyptian actor Adel Imam, appearing in more than 10 films together.

Rateb received the Egyptian Radio and Television Union's award in 1999 for his role in "Om-Kalthom" TV series, depicting the renowned Egyptian music composer Mohamed El-Asabgy.

His well known roles in Television include the Israeli officer Isaac Bin-Amitay in the Egyptian Spy-Drama series Raafat El-Haggan.

Rateb last screen appearance was in June's 2016 El-Khorog "The Exit" TV series.

Ahmed Rateb
Actor Ahmed Rateb

13 December: Actress Zubaida Tharwat

Born in 1940, Zubaida Tharwat started her career as an actress as a teenager after winning a beauty contest in a teen magazine.

Graduating from the Faculty of Law at Alexandria University, Tharwat starred in over 30 films in her career before quitting the showbiz altogether in the early 1980s.

Her most famous films include Fi Baituna Ragol (A Man in our House) with Omar El-Sherif and Rushdie Abbaza and Youm Men Omri (A day of My Life) with Abdel-Halim Hafez.

Zubaida Tharwat
Late cinema star Zubaida Tharwat in a shot from "A day from my life" produced 1961 (Photo: Ahram)

12 December: Screenwriter Mahmoud Abou Zeid

Mahmoud Abou Zeid is the scriptwriter behind several well-known Egyptian films including El-Keif (The High) in 1985 and El-Aar (Shame) in 1982.

Among the other films Abou Zeid wrote were Banat Fel Gamaa (Girls at University) from 1971, Domooa Sakhena (Hot Tears) from 1976, Hob La Yara El-Shams (A Love That Doesn’t See the Sun) from 1980, Gary El-Wohoosh (Monsters Run) from 1987, and his last film Bon Soiree in 2010.

One of his best-known works for television include El-Amma Noor (Aunt Noor), a series from 2003.

Mahmoud Abou Zeid
Screenwriter Mahmoud Abou Zeid

12 November: Actor Mahmoud Abdelaziz

Throughout his decades-long career, Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz starred in over 100 movies and numerous television series.

He came to the limelight in the 1970s' TV drama Al Dawama (The Whirlpool) where he co-starred with renowned actors Nelly and Mahmoud Yassin.
In the 1980s, he rose to stardom with successful roles in movies such as El Aar (The Shame, 1982), El Keef (Addiction, 1985).

One of his most famous appearances was as an Egyptian spy in Israel in the 1950s and the 1960s in the famous trilogy of Rafat El Haggan. Some of his other notable films include Kit Kat (1991) and Al-Saher (The Magician, 2001).

Mahmoud Abdelaziz
Actor Mahmoud Abdelaziz

14 October: Poet Farouk Shousha

Born on 17 February 1936, Egyptian poet Farouk Shousha, a winner of the state's Nile Award for Literature, passed away on 14 October 2016. Shousha, who was known for his rigorous language and quiet melodious voice, was one of the country's best-known contemporary poets.

He graduated from Ain Shams University in 1956 and went on to work for Egyptian radio and as an assistant professor of Arabic literature at his alma mater. Shousha won the Nile Award for Literature in 2016

Farouk Shousha
Poet Farouk Shousha

26 July: Actor Mohamed Kamel

Mohamed Kamel starred in over 90 works from the 1970s up until 2014, the majority of which were television series including Maaly El-Wazira (Her Excellency The Minister) with Elham Shahin, Abbas El-Abyad alongside Yehia El-Fakharany and El-Leil w Akhro (The Night and it's End).

Kamel’s filmography in cinema includes appearing in Sawaa El-Otobees (The Bus Driver, 1982) starring Nour El-Sherif, and Hob Fel Zenzana (Love in the Prison Cell, 1983) starring Adel Imam, and Gaana El-Bayan El-Taly (We Received the Following Statement, 2001) starring Mohamed Heneidy.

He was born in 1944 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Higher Theatre Institute.

Mohamed Kamel
Actor Mohamed Kamel

26 July: Director Mohamed Khan

Mohamed Khan was one of Egypt’s most prominent directors belonging to a generation of neo­realist filmmakers that represented a hallmark in Egyptian cinema.

His movies tackled social issues that often revolved around female central characters.

Among the most acclaimed films of Khan's two dozen motion picture productions are: El­Harreef (The Street Player, 1984), Zawgat Ragol Mohem (The Wife of an Important Man, 1987) and Ahlam Hind wa Camilia (Dreams of Hind and Camilia, 1988).

Mohamed Khan
Director Mohamed Khan

2 May: Actor Wael Nour

Television, film and theatre actor Wael Nour began his artistic career in the 1970's as a child actor on popular daytime TV children's programs, then moved on to teenage and adult roles in the 1980s and 90s.

Among Nour's best-known work was the television series Al-Mal wa Al-Banoon (Money and Sons) and Al Bakhil Wa Ana (The Cheap and I).

He also appeared and starred in several films such as Sanawat Al Khatar (Years of Danger) and Al-Ehtyat Wageb (Precaution is Mandatory).

Wael Nour
Actor Wael Nour

13 April: Actor Sayed Zayan

Often referred to as the King of Comedy, Zayan leaves behind 171 works in films, television and theatre dating back to the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Zayan’s career began on stage, acting in the well-known Sayedaty El-Gameela (My Fair Lady) in 1969, alongside Fouad El-Mohandes and Shwekar.

His most iconic role was in the 1973 comedy play Madrasat El-Moshaghebeen (School of the Mischievous) as Lotfy, and the 1983 action comedy film El-Motasawel, in which he stars alongside Adel Imam as Khalil the Idiot, a member of a street gang.

Sayed Zayan
Actor Sayed Zayan

20 March: Scholar Ali Mabrouk

Born in 1961, Ali Mabrouk earned his MA in 1988 in the Islamic Science of Kalam (Science of Discourse) and acquired his PhD in 1995 from Cairo University. He is notable for taking a new approach to the fundamental texts in Islam, including the Qur'an, whose interpretations he wished to revive.
His best known works are Al-Hadatha bayn Al-General wal Pasha (The Game of Modernism: Between the General and the Pasha), Nosos Hawl Al-Qur'an (Texts around Qur'an: In pursuit of the Live Qur'an), and Al-Nobowa (The Prophecy: from Aqidah to the Philosophy of History).

Ali Mabrouk
Scholar Ali Mabrouk

16 February: Writer Alaa El Deeb

Born in 1939, Alaa El Deeb studied law at Cairo University, graduating with a law degree in 1960. In his autobiography A Stop Before the Decline: Papers of an Egyptian Intellectual, the author reviews the timeline of events between 1952 and 1982 a critical period in Egyptian history. The writer also published six novels and five short story collections, and translated many books. He was awarded the State's Appreciation Award for literature in 2001.

Alaa El Deeb
Writer Alaa El Deeb

30 January: Actress Fayrouz

Fayrouz was an Armenian-Egyptian child actress whose career flourished in the 1950s. She acted in over 10 films gaining the name 'the child prodigy.’

Though her career lasted for only 10 years, spanning her childhood, she became one of the unforgettable young film stars. Many of her songs in the films are still alive until now, and are remembered by Egyptian of different generations.

Among her best known films are Yasmine (1950), and Dahab (1953).

Actress Fayrouz

18 January: Actor Abdel-Aziz Makewy

Abdel-Aziz Makewy graduated with a Bachelor in Theatre in 1954. His most memorable moment on the silver screen came in the closing scenes of the 1960s classic film Cairo 30
His stage debut was in the 1950s in Ta'am le Kol Fam (Food For Every Mouth) written by the renowned author Tawfik El-Hakim.

On the silver screen, he appeared in La Tutfee Al-Shams (Don’t Put Out The Sun, 1961), and then took part in the classic La Waqt lel Hob (No Time For Love, 1963), and in the 1960's Al-Sakiya TV quintet written by late renowned author Saad El-Din Wahba.

Abdelaziz Mekewy in Cairo 30 (Photo: still from one of the last scenes in the movie)

14 January: Visual art critic and journalist Kamal El-Goweily

Dubbed the ‘sheikh of critics’ Kamal El-Goweily was a pioneer of modern-day art criticism in Egypt.

The beginning of El-Goweily’s career as an art-critic was at Al-Ahram newspaper, where he focused on young talents, and opened the door for unknown artists, granting them the attention they deserved.

Many of today’s famous artists speak of how El-Goweily was the first person to shed light on their work, as opposed to other art critics who overlooked their talents.

El-Goweily served in a number of posts in the visual arts sector, including as the president of the Egyptian Association for Visual Arts’ Critics which he founded in 1989 and led until his death. He also headed Cairo Atelier's gallery (Atelier du Caire).

Kamal El Goweily
Visual art critic and journalist Kamal El Goweily

8 January: Actor Hamdy Ahmed

Ahmed starred in a large body of television and film productions, with over 35 plays, 25 silver screen appearances, 30 TV films, 89 television series, and nearly 3,000 hours on radio.

One of his most prominent appearances and one that brought him to the limelight was his role of Mahjoub Abdel-Dayem in Salah Abou Seif’s 1966 drama titled Cairo 30 (Al-Kahira Thalateen), a film that was nominated in the 39th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Ahmed was granted the Grand Prize from The Arab League for his role in the film.

Another iconic role was in renowned director Youssef Chahin’s 1970 film El-Ard.
He was the Comedy Theatre (Masrah El-Comedy) director in 1985.

Hamdy Ahmed
Actor Hamdy Ahmed

5 January: Actor Mamdouh Abdel-Aleem

Mamdouh Abdel-Aleem was a popular television actor who began his career as a teenager performing in radio shows and television programmes for children. He then stepped into the limelight with his role in popular television series El-ganna Wal-Azraa (The Paradise and the Virgin).

Among his best-known work was the television series Layali El-Helmiya (The Nights of Helmiya), a drama that spanned between 1987 and 1995.

He also starred in films including Batal min warak (1988) directed by Nader Galal, Al-Hob Fi Taba (1992) directed by Ahmed Fouad.

Mahmoud Abdel Aleem
Actor Mahmoud Abdel Aleem

This article was updated on 25 December.

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