Google Middle East on Tuesday marked the 112th anniversary of the birth of Egyptian filmmaking pioneer Bahiga Hafez with a special doodle.
Hafez was an actress, producer, director, soundtrack composer, fashion designer, trade union activist and owner of one of the most famous literary and artistic salons in Egypt in the last century.
Born on 4 August 1908 in the Moharram Bey district of Alexandria to an aristocratic family, she studied music during her childhood under Italian maestro Giovanni Gergizi.
She went on to get a diploma in musical composition from Paris in 1930 and was celebrated as the first Egyptian female composer.
She became a member of the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SACEM) in Paris.
Also in 1930, she starred in the silent film Zeinab, written by prominent politician Mohamed Hussein Heikal.
She married Mahmoud Hamdy, and together they founded a film production company they named Fanar Film that produced The Victims (1932), which featured the debut of iconic songstress Leila Mourad.
Among Bahiga Hafez’s productions were The Accusation (1934), Leila, Daughter of the Desert (1937), The Flower of the Market (1947, Hussein Fawzi and Kamal Abu-Ela), Al-Sayyed Al-Badawi (1953), and Cairo 30 (1966), in which she played a princess.
She died on 13 September 1983, having made a name as one of the pioneers of Egyptian cinema.
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