Remembering Karima Mokhtar: ‘Mother’ figure in Egyptian cinema

Ahram Online , Monday 16 Jan 2023

Born on 16 January 1934, the Egyptian iconic actress Karima Mokhtar left a big legacy in cinema, TV and theatre, especially in the role of mother, until she passed away in January 2017.

Karima Mokhtar

Born in Assiut, Upper Egypt, Mokhtar started her career in entertainment in the 1950’s on the popular Egyptian children’s radio show Baba Sharou.

Her first role on the big screen came in the film Thaman Al-Horeya (The Price of Freedom, 1963).

Her convincing role as Zeinab, a mother of seven, in the highly successful film Al-Hafeed (The Grandson, 1974), opposite the late Nour El-Sharif and Mervat Amin, earned her popular acclaim.

The multi-awarded also starred in other important films including Amira Hobi Ana (Amira My Love, 1974), opposite Hussein Fahmi and the late Souad Hosni; Al-Shaytan Ya’ez (The Devil Preaches, 1981), opposite the late Farid Shawki; and more recently, Al-Farah (The Wedding, 2009), opposite Khaled El-Sawy.

Her role in the classic play El-Eyal Kebret (The Kids Have Grown Up, 1979) – where she played Zeinab, a wife dealing with a cheating husband while coping with four troublesome children – cemented her reputation as the ultimate mother character in the Egyptian art scene.

Her roles on TV included classic soap operas such as Yetraba Fi Ezo (May He Grow Up Prosperous, 2007) opposite Yehia El-Fakharany, and Bardis (1985) remain all time classics for TV viewers.

On Monday 16 January 2023, Google Doodle celebrated Karima Mokhtar’s 89th birthday naming her the “Mother of Egyptian Cinema”.

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