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Theatre community mourns death of Egyptian director, critic Sayed Khattab

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jan 2018
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Critic Sayed El-Khattab (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic)
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Egyptian theatre critic, director and actor Sayed Khattab died on Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack.

Khattab, born in Fayoum in 1966, was best known as a critic and professor of criticism at the Higher Institute for Theatre Arts, and a former head of the General Authority of Culture Palaces in 2016.

Following his death, several members of the theatre community have expressed their grief, including head of the Artistic Theatre House Ismail Mokhtar, and head of the National Theatre Youssef Ismail.

The wake will be held on Friday at the Hamdeya Shazleya Mosque in Cairo's Mohandessin.

Khattab graduated from the High Institute for Theatre Arts in 1994.

He began a career that spanned acting, writing, directing and several important administrative positions.

Khattab's writings have been published in several publications including Masrahna newspaper and Fan wa Ebdaa Magazine.

He was a juror and critic at several theatre festivals around the world, including the Baghdad Theatre Festival, the Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival, and El-Fawanees El-Masraheya festival in Jordan, as well as the Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival and the Cairo International Film Festival.

In 2007, Khattab earned a PhD in art philosophy from Italy on the effect of digital technologies on the art of writing about theatre.

Khattab served for several years as a theatre specialist at the Ministry of Education, and during this time was the director of several plays for children at schools.

He also became a member of the theatre committee at the Supreme Council of Culture between 2007 and 2009, and again in 2013.

He also held the position of general manager of the Cultural Research sector at the National Centre for Theatre, Music and Folk Arts in 2008 and 2009.

He later became deputy of the Culture Minister and head of the Censorship Authority on Artistic Works for three years.

As an actor, he joined El-Ghad Theatre troupe between 1996 and 1995, appearing in several plays including Hanoul Kaman (We Will Say More), Symphoneyat Lear (Lear’s Symphony), and Malek El-Ghorfa El-Modlema (King of the Dark Room).

Among the plays he directed was Wohoosh La Toghanny (Beasts that Don’t Sing), Isis, Ghenwat Karawan (Song of a Nightingale), Taht El-Tahdeed (Under Threat) and Teatro Lel Bea (Theatre for Sale).

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