Mona Zaki in Afrah El-Qoba series (Photo: Still from Afrah El-Qoba)
Egyptian actress Mona Zaki was handed the Best Actress award at the prestigious Lebanese Murex D’Or awards on Friday evening.
Zaki won the award for her role in the 2016 Ramadan television series Afrah El-Qoba (Wedding Song).
The series was directed by Mohamed Yasine and written by Mohamed Amin Rady, based on a novel of the same name by Naguib Mahfouz.
A theatrical group in the 1970s discovers during a reading that the play they will perform is about their own lives and secrets. They refuse to take part in the play, but the group leader insists on the project, viewing it as his means of salvation.
The actors find themselves on stage, playing themselves as they are in real life. The story is told by Tahia Abdou (Mona Zaki), a young actress who joins the group in search of fame.
The Murex D'or is an annual award ceremony, now marking its 17th year, that was created by Lebanese physicians Dr Zahi Helou and Dr Fadi Helou to promote pan-Arab and regional personalities in the fields of music and drama.
The name of the award is a tribute to the Phoenician Murex shellfish, the secretion of which was used to dye silk, wool and other fabrics in Tyrian purple (known as Ourjouan). These dyed fabrics were exported to the world, playing a major role in the success of Phoenician civilization.
Zaki was born in Cairo in 1976. At age 16, she was cast by Egyptian actor and director Mohamed Sobhi, making her debut in his play Bel Araby El-Faseeh.
She then began appearing in television series, including El-Aela (The Family, 1994) and Zizinia (1997).
In the 1990s, she thrived in cinema, appearing in several films alongside movies stars. She appeared in El-Katl El-Laziz (Tasty Murder) with Mervat Amin, and in Edhak El-Sora Tetlaa Helwa (Smile, The Photo Will Come Out Nice) with Ahmed Zaki, which earned her an award
An "Egyptian sweetheart", Zaki starred in many popular romantic comedies, including El-Hob El-Awal (The First Love), Leh Khaletny Ahebak (Why Did You Let Me Love You?), Sahar El-Layali (Late Nights), Taymour We Shafika (Taymour And Shafika) and Africano.
She also won an award for her role in the 2001 biopic of President Anwar El-Sadat, titled Ayam El-Sadat (Days of Sadat).
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