Born Fatima Ahmed Kamal Shaker, the late Egyptian golden age song and cinema star Shadia was one of the Arab world's most prominent film actors from the 1950s to the 70s, appearing in over 112 films, 10 radio serials and one play.
Shadia died yesterday at Cairo's Galaa Military Hospital at the age of 86 after a long struggle with illness and after suffering a recent stroke.
Shadia, who was born in Cairo's Abdeen district, began her acting career in 1947 and became known for her roles in light comedy and drama.
The actress starred in many films that are considered classics, including El-Zouga El-Talattashar (The Thirteenth Wife, 1962), Shea' Min El-Khouf (A Bit of Fear, 1969) Al-Liss Wal Kilab (The Thief and the Dogs, 1962), and Meraty Modir Am (My Wife is a General Manager, 1966).
She played the lead character, Hameeda, in Zouqâq Al-Midaqq (1963), based on Naguib Mahfouz’s novel of the same name.
Through many of her roles, Shadia sought to change society’s views on social issues, especially those involving women. Meraty Modir Am (1966) is one such film. She also chose roles in films with themes of oppression and defiance, such as in the film Shea' Min El-Khouf (1969).
In many films, she sang opposite stars Farid Al-Atrache and Abdel-Halim Hafez, appearing alongside the latter in a famous performance role in The People’s Idol (1967) by director Helmy Rafla.
Some of her best-known songs include El-Qalb Yeheb Marrah (The Heart Loves Once), Shebbakna Satayro Harir (Our Window’s Curtains are Silk) and Akwa Men El-Zaman (Stronger than Time).
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