Ramadan Icons: Meet the legendary Amou Fouad

Amal Abul Ela, Wednesday 27 Mar 2024

This year would have been the 100 birthday of the master, the king of Comedy, the legend Fouad Al-Mohandes.

 Amou Fouad
Iconic Egyptian Comedian Fouad Al Mohandes


The following series is created in collaboration with Al-Ahram Information Centres.

Ramadan’s most famous element is the Fawazeer, or riddles, which were a special television Ramadan treat.  

Renowned Comedian Actor Fouad Al-Mohandes was among the first if not the first to create a special prime-time riddles for children. Amou Fouad (Uncle Fouad) would take the young minds on fabulous fun journeys.

The beginning

Born on 6 September 1924, in Abbassiya district of Cairo, he was the third of four siblings. His father Zaki Al-Mohandes was the dean of faculty of Dar Al-Uloum and the deputy of the Academy of Arabic Language in Cairo.

He studied at the Abbassiya primary school then joined Farouk Al-Awal High School where he joined the school acting troupes where his talent first flourished. He was famous for imitating his teachers during the school talent show, he even was able to imitate the sound of animals after the zoo school trip.  

Baba Sharo’s Corner

His father always encouraged him and worked on nourishing his talent, by providing him access to age-appropriate cultural content and training him in public speaking.

His brother-in-law Mohamed Mahmoud Shaban, who was known on Egyptian Radio as Baba Sharo, a presenter of a children's segment, first introduced Al-Mohandes in his famous children's radio programme named The Corner of Baba Sharo, which is famous for the Birthday operetta The Birthday of Abul Fasad.

He studied in the faculty of commerce and joined his college theatre troupe where he attracted the attention of renowned comedian Icon Naguib Al-Rehani, who asked him to join his theatre troupe.


His artistic career kicked off in 1954 when he presented a comedy radio show Saa l Qalbak (An Hour for your Heart, Time for your Heart), and his character Mahmoud was an instant hit. Al-Mohandes took the show to the stage and it was a blockbuster. He then acted in 26 radio shows/plays.

His interest in children's audiences started in the 1960s, when he wrote and acted in several children's stories for radio such as Tarazan and King Kong. However, in 1968, he launched his daily radio broadcast Kelmetein wi bas (In Two words Only) which was a social satiric program that discussed negative popular behaviour in Egyptian society and ran every morning at 8:30am


In 1959 he created with fellow Comedian Icon Abdul Moniem Madbouly the United Artist Theatre Troupe which was a massive success and helped introduce to the world of comedy iconic figures such as Adel Imam, Said Saleh, Al-Deif Ahmed to name but a few.

His duet with renowned lady comedian Shewicar was also a milestone in the history of Egyptian Theater and later in Cinema. My Fair Lady, Me, Him and Her, and The Art Secretary are among the golden classics of comedy Egyptian plays.  


In Cinema his career kicked off in 1952 where he had secondary roles until he became the star of his own comedy films.  He acted in 70 films out of which Mr.X, Romantic Chase, and A Forced Vacation remain among the top classic comedy films in Egyptian cinema.


In television, he starred in 18 series. He was among the first to cater to audiences of children when he launched his Ramadan Riddle series Amou Fouad in the early 1980s.

Fouad Al-Mohandes was honoured in 1999 at the Cairo International Film Festival. And in 2019 by the Creativity Art Centre.  He died on 16 September 2006, yet his mere name still brings joy and smiles wherever it is uttered.

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