Egyptian theatre maker Hanaa Abdel-Fattah
(1944-2012) will be honoured during the 26th edition of the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre (CIFCET) during its closing ceremony on Thursday 19 September.
During the same evening, a number of other artists will also receive the medals of honour. They include actors Sayed Ragab and Samira Abdel-Aziz, critic Abdel-Razik Hussein, director Ahmed Kamal, late director Mohamed Abou El-Soud, and critic Hazem Shehata.
Abdel-Fattah dedicated his life to theatre,although he was also known for his appearances in film, television in radio programmes.
OF his many activities, which included promoting Polish theatre in Egypt (and vice versa) – through directing plays and the translation of literary works – Abdel-Fattah's involvement in the CIFCET (Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre,or CIFET at the time of its founding) was among his most notable achievements.
“The launching of CIFET in 1988 marked the beginning of a new line of activities for Abdel-Fattah, adding to his many roles – as experimental director, theatre promoter, critic and actor – a new one as cultural mediator. From the first edition until the very last in 2010, he was indefatigable in promoting Polish theatre in Egypt, suggesting the invitation of prominent figures as well as translating and moderating their presentations when they arrived. He assisted at workshops conducted by visiting Polish artists, translated Polish plays and important critical and theoretical works on theatre, and wrote illuminating reviews of guest Polish performances," late theatre critic Nehad Selaiha wrote about Abdel-Fattah in her obituary in 2012.
Abdel-Fattah was known to Egyptian cinema and radio, which he abandoned upon his travel to Poland to continue his education and where he spent 20 years. He returned to teaching at the Academy of Theatrical Arts in early 1990s, taking the post of professor and dean of the directing department (early 2000s).
It was in the last decade of his life that Abdel-Fattah made his return to Egyptian cinemas. Among his numerous roles were those in films such as El-Sefara fi El-Omara (2005), El-Shabah (2007), Cairo Time (2009), among others, as well as television series such as Ayza Atgawez (I want to get married) starring Hend Sabry. He played the role of Professor Badawi in Fair Game (2010) a USA drama directed by Doug Liman
Abdel-Fattah passed away on 19 October 2012 in Cairo at the age of 68.
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