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Friday, 22 January 2021

2020: Egyptian artists we lost

Filmmakers, theatre directors, musicians, actors... During the year 2020, many renowned Egyptian artists passed away leaving their unique imprint on the artistic scene

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Dec 2020
2020
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Views: 5998

22 November
Tarek Akef

musician, age 60

Conductor and producer, Tarek Akef collaborated with the majority of famous Arab singers, especially during his flourishing career in the 1980s and 1990s: from Algerian iconic singer Warda to Saudi Mohamed Abdu, Lebanese Ragheb Alama, Magda El-Roumy, Tunisian Latifa, Iraqi Kadhim El-Saher and Emeriti Ahlam.

He dominated the Arabic pop scene for decades with hits like Mohamed Mounir's Allie Soutek, Youssef Chahine's Al-Maseer, Angham's Sidi Wesalak, Ragheb Alama's Alby Esheaha.

read more here

Tarek Akef
Tarek Akef

14 October
Mahmoud Yassin

Actor, age 79

Yassin starred in tens of movies, plays and radio and TV series, dominating the lead role for most of the 1970s and 1980s.

During the 1970s, Yassin became one of the most popular romantic film stars, starring in films such as Al Khayt El Rafia (The Think Line), Hob wa Kibriya (Love and Pride) and Al Rosasa La Tazal Fi Gayby (The Bullet is Still in my Pocket).

In the nineties, Yassin shifted his career to television, starring in series like “Abu hanifa Al Noa'man,” “Did el Tayyar” (Against the Current), and “Souq El A'sr” (Afternoon Market).

His memorable roles on the big screen included The Bullet is Still in My Pocket (1974); Where is My Mind (1974); Mouths and Rabbits (1977); Ascent to the Abyss (1978); and A Nose and Three Eyes (1972).

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Mahmoud Yassin
Mahmoud Yassin

26 September
El-Montaser Bellah

Actor, age 70

El-Montaser Bellah held a master’s degree in theatre studies and worked with the majority of Egyptian actors, writers and directors; from Tholathy Adwa’a El-Masrah, Fouad El-Mohandess, Farid Shawky, and Abdel-Moneim Madbouly, to Adel Emam, Mohamed Sobhi and Ahmed Zaki.

His memorable appearances include Sharihan's musicals; 'Mohamed Ali Street', 'Alashan Khater Oyounak' and Sohir El-Bably's 'El-Alma Basha', in addition to films like Sobhi and Lebleba's ‘Al-Shaitanah Allaty Ahabbatny’ and Ahmed Zakis 'Dedd El-Hokoumah', as well as memorable roles in 90s TV hits like Arabesque and 'Ana Wenta W-Baba Fil Meshmesh.'

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El-Montaser Bellah
El-Montaser Bellah

25 September
Khalil Mostafa

Composer, age 65

Composer Khalil Mostafa is known for many 1980s and 90s pop hits

With distinctive skills in creating catchy melodies and sing-along vocal patterns, Mostafa left a legacy of hits that inspired a generation, many of which are still in the hearts of Arab fans.

Mostafa's work included Amr Diab's Shawkna, Ya Samra, Khlseen, Galak Alb, Ahlef Bel-Layaly, Sebt Faragh Kebier and Leil W-Adda, as well as Medhat Saleh's El-Sahra Tehla and Wala Teswa Domou, Ehab Tawik's Ye'shak El-Qamar, Ali El-Haggar's Enwan Beitna and Hanan's El-Shams El-Garei'a.

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Khalil Mostafa
Khalil Mostafa

22 September
Samir Bahzan

Cinematographer, age 73

The filmmaker was among a crew of iconic Egyptian filmmakers that included Youssef Chahine, Radwan El Kashef, Yousry Nasrallah, Shadi Abdel-Salam and Daoud Abdel Sayed.

Starting his career with Armies of the Sun by Abdel-Salam, followed by epic war film The Bullet is Still in My Pocket, Bahzan's filmography also includes memorable films like Alexandria Again and Forever, Land of Fear, Al-Madina, Bab Al-Shams, Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, and many others.

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Samir Bahzan
Samir Bahzan

12 September
Ali Ragab

Film director and actor, age 56

Ali Ragab's passion for film pushed him towards acting, and soon after, directing. He acted in the film Hassan w Aziza: Qadeyet Amn Dawla (1999). He then worked as an assistant director to Enas El-Deghidi.

He directed numerous known films, including Boltya El Ayma (2008), Karkar (2007), Sayed El Atifi (2004), Khalty Faransa (2004), The Beach Loafer (2004) and Al-Agenda Ul-Hamra (2000)

His more recent works include Reklam (2012) and Khammis Wa Jumma (2017). The only television series Ragab directed was Al-Wadeea wal Theaab (2009).

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Ali Ragab
Ali Ragab


7 September
Aida Kamel

Actress, age 89

Kamel has appeared in over 120 TV, radio, cinema and theater works. She collaborated with stars of many generations including Ismael Yassin, Mohamed Fawzi, Farid El-Atrash, Faten Hamama, Shadia and Omar El-Sherif.

In TV, she appeared in Hawanem Garden City, Al-Less Allazy Oheboh and many historic series, in addition to taking part in a big collection of radio drama.

Aida Kamel's was last honored at Al-Hanager Theater in 2007 where the Egyptian Culture Ministry awarded her for life long achievements with the Pioneers Armor award.

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Aida Kamel
Aida Kamel

14 August
Shwikar

Actress, age 82

Shwikar shone in the 1960s, especially by pairing with legendary comedian Fouad El-Mohandes, whom she married. Together they combined skilfulness and presence, with Shwikar’s vivacity and capacity for diversity a crucial part of the duo's enduring success.

Through a long career she proved exceptionally talented in comedy, drama, singing and dancing, featuring in dozens of films important to Egyptian cinema, like Viva Zalata, Akhtar Ragol Fel Aalam (“The World's Most Dangerous Man”), Al Aataba Gazaz, El-Karnak, and Shanabo Fel Masyada (“Shanabo in the Trap”), to name but a few.

In past decade, Shwikar's appearances were limited to few films and series such as Serr Aalany in 2012, Mariam's Woes in 2016, and Bent Men Shoubra in 2014.

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Shwikar
Shwikar

13 August
Samir El Eskandarany

Singer, age 80

El Eskandarany left a legacy of dozens of memorable patriotic and love songs, including Yally Aash Hobbek Yeallem, Ah Ya Gamil, Ya Leil, and others.

Born on 8 February 1938 in El-Ghoury neighbourhood in Cairo, El Eskandarany attended the Faculty of Fine Arts and then went on to Italy for a scholarship.

When he returned, he began singing in various languages, including Arabic, English, Italian and Greek, with songs like Take Me Back to Cairo, Silver Nile, and others.

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Samir El Eskandarany
Samir El Eskandarany

12 August
Sanaa Shafea

Actor and theatre director, age 77

Sanaa Shafea graduated at the High Institute of Theatrical Arts, where he later on worked as a professor and became dean of the department.

In parallel with his academic work, Shafaa directed theatre plays, and one of his first famous works was Don Quixote, staged in 1975.

To the wider audience, Shafaa was known for his many roles in television series, radio programmes and appearances in film since the 1980s.

His latest appearances were in television series Al-Qamar Akher Al-Dunya (2020), Khat Sakhin (2020), Lyalina 80 (2020), Abu Gabal (2019), Bahr (2019), among dozens of others.

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Sanaa Shafea
Sanaa Shafea

9 August
Ibrahim El-Sharkawy

Actor, age 72

Born on 3 April 1948, El-Sharkawy took part in dozens of films, TV shows and theatre plays after graduating from the High Institute for Theatrical Arts in 1975.

His career flourished in the 80s and 90s.

The actor played some memorable roles in films like 'El-Harafish', 'Al-Nemr Wal-Ontha' and 'El-Halfout,' in addition popular TV series like 'Mohammad Rasoul Allah', 'Arabesque' and 'Haroun El-Rashid.'

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Ibrahim El-Sharkawy
Ibrahim El-Sharkawy

21 July
Elena Dzamashvili

Egypt-based Georgian pianist and music professor, age 78

Born in Georgia to a pianist mother, Elena Dzamashvili was only three years old when she started exploring piano. 

For many years, Dzamashvili taught at the Tbilisi Conservatory, performing regularly with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. She also started working at the Georgia Radio and Television Company where she made over 600 recordings.

In 1991, as part of the active cooperation between the Cairo and Tbilisi conservatories, she was offered to work in Egypt. 

At the Cairo Conservatory, Dzamashvili was teaching piano and chamber music. She was also teaching at the music department of the American University in Cairo and at the Talents Development Centre under the Cairo Opera House’s umbrella.

read more here

Check this interview with Elena Dzamashvili

Elena Dzamashvili
Elena Dzamashvili

10 July
Mahmoud Reda

Dancer and choreographer, age 89

Founder of Egypt’s Reda Folkloric Dance troupe, Mahmoud Reda began his career as a professional gymnast, before shifting to dance and choreography.

In his choreography, Reda drew from Egyptian dance traditions and combined them with Western styles such as ballet and modern dance.

In 1961, the Reda Folkloric Dance troupe troupe was officially adopted by the Egyptian ministry of culture, receiving governmental support.

As the troupe began growing to include dozens of dancers, and cooperated with numerous musicians and other choreographers, it started becoming well-known internationally, representing Egypt at many major events and festivals.

read more here

Check this interview with Mahmoud Reda

Mahmoud Reda
Mahmoud Reda

5 July
Ragaa El-Giddawy

Actress, age 86

One of Egypt’s most beloved and prolific actresses El-Giddawy's career dates back to 1959 when she made her debut in popular Egyptian film Douaa Al-kawrawan (The Nightingale's Prayer).

She had appeared in hundreds of films, plays and TV shows throughout a fruitful six-decade career, collaborating with almost all of the country's best writers, directors and actors of successive generations.

Her last television appearance was in the soap opera Le'bet El-Nesyan (Game of Oblivion), which was screened during the holy month of Ramadan 2020.

She had been hospitalised on 24 May after being infected with the Coronavirus, and died on 5 July due to complications.

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Ragaa El-Giddawy
Ragaa El-Giddawy

28 June
Neamat Allah Hussein

Film critic and journalist

Neamat Allah Hussein wrote a number of cinema criticism books and took part in many domestic and international film festivals, in addition to her writing and holding leading positions in a number of Egyptian newspapers, including Akher Saa.

She was honored during the Alexandria International Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries (2018), with a book by Syrian writer Lama Tayara issued about her impact on criticism.

read more here

Neamat Allah Hussein
Neamat Allah Hussein

17 June
Sameh Al-Banany

Painter, age 75

Al-Banany earned his BA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1969, earning a master's degree in 1975, then travelling to Rome, Italy to for his doctorate, which he completed in 1979.

On the work of Al-Banany, critic Mohamed Al-Nasser said he didn’t echo the style of his father Hosny Al-Banany but rather created his own. Al-Nasser also revealed that a month before his death, Al-Banany told him over the phone that he was planning to compile a book of art with his father and grandfather’s work as well as his own.

As well as a painter, Al-Banany is a remarkable photographer. He is best known for his images of Egyptian nature, rural, tribal and urban life, devising his own rules of harmony in dimensions, proportions and perspective and a unique colour palette.

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Sameh Al-Banany
Artwork by Sameh Al-Banany

12 June
Hussein El-Ezaby

Scenographer and costume designer, age 73

Graduate of thea Cairo's High Institute for Theatrical Arts in 1971 and the Drama Department of the American University in Cairo (1970), El-Ezaby dedicated his career to theatre, where he created dozens of scenography and costume designs for many well-known theatre performances.

His designs took part in many international exhibitions in Egypt and internationally, mainly in European and Arab countries.

Among his most recent international achievements is an exhibition he held in Dubai's Coya gallery in January 2019. Titled Glow in the Dark, the exhibition featured his paintings in which the artists explored theatrical and scenography concepts inspired by a background in theatre design.

Egypt's Ministry of Culture awarded El-Ezaby for his decades-long contribution to Egypt's scenography. His publication on Egypt's folkloric theatre brought him the Supreme Council for Arts and Literature Prize. He was also honored during the opening ceremony of Egypt's 11th National Theatre Festival (2018).

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Hussein El-Ezaby
Hussein El-Ezaby

11 June
Mahmoud Masoud

Actor, age 67

Masoud began by acting in theatre and moved to perform in numerous plays in Cairo's Al-Taleea (Experimental) Theatre. Soon he launched his career in film and television, appearing in almost 200 works by renowned Egyptian directors.

His cinema career includes roles in popular films such as Maganeeno, Al-Motamarid (The Rebel), Al-Sharisa (The Fierce), and Hikaya To (The Story of To).

Masoud was best known for his roles in dozens of television series. He acted in Al-Liqa Al-Thani (The Second Meeting), Mughamarat Zakia Hanem (The Adventures of Zakia Hanem), Gomhorreya Zefta (The Republic of Zefta), and October Al-Akher (The Other October).

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Mahmoud Masoud
Mahmoud Masoud

2 June
Ali Abdel Rahim

Actor, age 59

Born in 1961, Abdel Rahim began his artistic career by joining the Modern Theatre company operating under the Theatre sector. Throughout his career Abdel Rahim acted in over 100 works for theatre, film and television.

The theatre works include Monkey with Thick Hair, My Aunt Safeya and the Monastery, President of the Republic of Himself, Sultan Daughter's Groom, The Thugs among many others.

Outside theatre his best known appearances include those in film Naji Attalah's Squad (2012) starring Adel Emam and television series such as a Man with Many Fates as well as Al-Helmiya Nights starring Yahia El Fakharani.

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Ali Abdel Rahim
Ali Abdel Rahim

31 May
David Hales

Egypt-based British pianist and vocal coach, age 63

Born in the UK and a graduate of Durham University in the North of England and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Hales established himself in Cairo, Egypt.

He had been a staff member at the Cairo Conservatoire and the Cairo Opera Company since 1980, where he coached many Cairo Opera soloists and assisted them as a prompter.

Hales’ musical activities extended beyond the Cairo Opera House, as he was part of numerous formations. For decades, he was also a pianist and musical advisor to the Cairo Choral Society, operating under the American University in Cairo with artistic director and conductor John Baboukis.

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David Hales
David Hales

30 May
Hassan Hosny

Actor, age 89

With his career starting early in the 1960s during the launch of Egyptian TV, Hosny joined a number of theatre groups and then films. 

In the 1970s, he acted in features including Souq El-Harim (Market of Women, 1970), Amira Hoby Ana (Amira, My Love, 1974), El-Karnak (Karnak, 1975), El-Hob Taht El-Matar (Love Under the Rain, 1975), among others, in addition to his remarkable role in Abna'ey El-Aezaa, Shokran (My Dear Sons, Thank You), a hit TV series starring Abdel-Moneim Madbouly.

He worked with some of Egypt’s best directors such as Mohamed Khan in the film Zawget Ragol Mohem (The Wife of an Important Man, 1987), and Faris El-Madina (Knight of the City,1993).Hosny also worked with Radwan El-Kashef in Leh Ya Banafseg (Why so, Burgundy? 1993), Osama Fawzy in Afarit El-Asphalt (Demons of the Asphalt, 1996) and Dawoud Abdel-Sayed in Sareq El-Farah (Joy's Thief, 1994) – a film for which Hosny won five awards for his character Rokba.

Throughout the 1990s Hosny was ever present on screen in a new phase of his career, appearing in supporting roles in dozens of commercially popular films and theatre plays.

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Hassan Hosny
Hassan Hosny

22 May
Adam Henein

Sculptor, age 91

After obtaining a BA in Sculpture from Cairo's school of Fine Arts, Henein pursued training in Munich and Paris, where he lived until 1996.

Henein skillfully handled various materials, including bronze, wood, clay, granite, stone, iron and slate. He has also worked with Aswan clay and used papyrus for a series of paintings he produced in his Parisian years. After returning to Egypt in the 1990s, Henein initiated the Aswan International Sculpture Symposium, which over almost three decades has become an important hub for many sculptors exploring this art form.

Also in the 1990s, Henein led the restoration of the famed Sphinx of Giza, work that won him a national decoration. 

While dedicating his life to sculpture, Henein was also interested in painting. 

In 2017, the Adam Henein Foundation established Adam Henein Annual Sculpture Prize. 

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Adam Henein
Adam Henein

22 May
Mahmoud El-Toukhy

Playwright and scriptwriter, age 75

Among El-Toukhy's well known plays is Dstoor Ya Asyadna which was staged in 1995 and Bokra (Tomorrow, 1994).

Other theatre plays include Me and My Girlfriend (1999), The Beautiful and the Andalusian (2003), A Story of Good People (2008) and the well known Coma (Ghaybouba, 2015) directed by Shady Sorour and starring Ahmed Bedeir, Mohamed El-Sawy, Fatma El-Kashef, among others.

El-Toukhy's contribtions to scriptwriting include numerous television series with the most recent ones being Life of a Modern-day Husband (2003), Profession: Doctor (2004), Days of Love and Mischief (2010), and Girls x Girls (2012).

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Mahmoud El-Toukhy
Mahmoud El-Toukhy

12 May
Ibrahim Nasr

Actor, age 74

One of the important roles marking the start of Ibrahim Nasr's career was Al-Mohem El-Hob (1974) starring Adel Emam and Samir Ghanem

His other famous roles include those in Mr. Karate (1993) directed by Mohamed Khan, and Shams El-Zanaty (1991) directed by Samir Seif, where he acted alongside Adel Emam and Sawsan Badr.

In more recent years, Nasr appeared in X Large (2011), The Cave (2018) as well as numerous television series including Foq El-Sahab (2018).

He was also well-known for hosting the TV show Candid Camera, in which he impersonated a female in the character of Zakeya Zakaria.  

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Ibrahim Nasr
Ibrahim Nasr

2 May
Shady Habash

Filmmaker, age 24

Habash started a photography and video business in mid-2000s working with numerous Egyptian artists and musicians.

He died in Cairo’s Tora prison complex after spending over two years in remand detention over a number of charges, including “spreading false news” and “joining a banned organisation.” He was arrested in March 2018.

Egyptian prosecutors have said that an autopsy report on Habash has confirmed that he died in prison due to alcohol poisoning, a statement by the prosecution said in May.

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Shady Habash
Shady Habash

27 April
George Sidhom

Actor, age 81

Born in 1938 in Sohag, Sidhom appeared with almost all the big name actors and directors of his day.

He was a co-founder of one of the oldest stand-up comedy groups in the Arab world, Tholathy Adwaaa El-Masrah,

His filmography includes 30 Days in Prison (1966), Maabodat El Gamahir (1967), Al Zawaj ala El-Tarika El-Haditha (1968), Al-Bahth An Fadiha (1973), Uncle Zizo Habibi (1977), Gharib Fi Baity (1982) and Al-Garage (1982), to name a few.

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George Sidhom
George Sidhom

26 April
Mido Zoheir

Poet and lyricist, age 46

Born in 1974, Zoheir began writing for underground musicians before the 2011 revolution, often tackling issues close to the hearts of the younger generation.

Among the first musicians to cooperate with Zoheir were Maryam Saleh and Dina El-Wedidi, as well as band Black Theama.

Zoheir also cooperated with Wust El-Balad, including the band’s well known song Aneqeni from their 2011 album Robabekya.

Zoheir also authored a number of books – such as Air Syringe – which topics and poems conveyed his revolutionary ideas.

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Mido Zoheir
Mido Zoheir

7 February
Lenin El-Ramly

Playwright, age 75

In his works, El-Ramly was known for his satire and daring ridicule of Middle Eastern culture and politics.

His work included the plays In Plain Arabic and Point of View, and the films The Terrorist, Bekeet and Adeela, and The Ostrich and the Peacock.

"The only Egyptian playwright who won the prestigious Prince Claus Award (Netherlands) and was present on the international theatre scene, though he never took pride in any of his achievements. He dealt with his career as work, a duty and a responsibility towards society and the Egyptian theatre to which he belongs." - Nora Amin writes.

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Lenin El-Ramly
Lenin El-Ramly

4 February
Nadia Lufti

Actress, age 83

Born in 1937, Lutfi was discovered by renowned director Ramsis Naguib, playing her first role in the film Sultan in 1958. Her second small role was in the big hit Bab El-Hadid (Train Station, 1958), directed by Youssef Chahine.

The 1960s marked the bloom of her acting career, as she starred in memorable and iconic classics side by side with screen legends of the time like Abdel-Halim Hafez in Al-Khataya (Sins, 1962), Abi Fouq Al-Shagara (My Dad Atop a Tree, 1969), and as Zanouba in Qasr El-Shouk, starring Yehia Shahine (El-Shouk Palace) in 1967.

Lutfi is also known for her lead role in the film Al-Nadara Al-Sawda (Dark Glasses,1963) starring Ahmed Mazhar.

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Nadia Lufti
Nadia Lufti
 

16 January
Magda Al-Sabahi

Actress, age 89

Born on 5 May 1939 as Afaf Ali (or Afaf Kamel Al-Sabahi) in Tanta (Gharbia governorate), the Egyptian star was better known as Magda Al-Sabahi, or simply Magda.

Throughout three decades of her career, and prior to her retirement from acting, Al-Sabahi appeared in over 60 films, with the most notable roles being those in El-Naseh (1949), Malish had (1954), Hegret El-Rasoul, Ayna Omry (1957), Banat El-Yom (1957), Al-Ragol Allazy Ohebo (1962), El-Omr Lahza (1978), among many others.

She played the leading role in Youssef Chahine's historical film Djamila l'Algérienne (1958), which tackles the life of Djamila, one of the most remarkable revolutionary women of Algeria.  

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Magda Al-Sabahi
Magda Al-Sabahi

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