Khaled Galal, Egyptian theatre director and head of the Cultural Production Affairs Sector, was honoured during the closing ceremony of Egypt's 3rd World Youth Forum, which came to an end on 17 December in the Red Sea Resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Galal was among numerous figures who received honours – including a number of young people – by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
During his speech, Galal thanked everyone who contributed to his development, starting with his parents, wife Ola Fahmy, who supports him in the creative journey, often acting as executive director, his two daughters and the many teachers who shaped him as an artist.
He also expressed his gratitude to all the young students who he has taught over the past two decades, many of whom have become renowned artists in Egypt's cultural scene, touching the audiences with their skill and humanity.
"This reward exceeds all the recognitions I have ever received," Galal commented on the presidential honour.
Director Khaled Galal honored by president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the closing of 3rd Youth Forum [L] and with Ola Fahmy, his wife and executive director of many of his plays [R]
Born in 1967, a graduate of the Higher Institute for Theatrical Arts in Cairo and one of the most prominent Egyptian theatre directors of his generation, Galal also heads the Cultural Production Affairs Sector and the Artistic Creativity Centre where he has created an actor's studio, from which each year scores of young actors graduate and enter the theatre and film scene.
Galal has also directed numerous theatre plays, many of which were staged at the international theatre festivals, and has gained numerous awards throughout his career.
Among Galal's most significant achievements from the early years of his career is the play Qahwa Sada (Black Coffee) produced by the Actor's Studio, which saw great success and multiple reruns following its premiere in 2008. Based on actor improvisation techniques that embrace many performers in several short scenes, comedic vignettes, dynamism and vibrant colours, this theatrical method became among Galal's hallmarks, a style that he continued to incorporate in many of his productions with young talents.
Qahwa Sada - Black Coffee (Photo: Bassam Al Zoghby)
Many of Qahwa Sada's actors have become popular in Egyptian theatre and cinema, including Mohamed Farrag, Amir Salah Eldin, and Hisham Ismael. The play had its special rerun with the original cast on its 10-year anniversary during the 25th Cairo International Festival for Experimental and Contemporary Theatre (2018).
Galal's most recent directing portfolio includes Welcome Ramadan starring Mohamed Ramadan (2016), Sallem Nafsak (2017), The Visitor (2018), The Trial (2019), and Cinema Masr (2019). He also writes the script to many of his plays that involve his students from the Actor's Studio.
Since 2017, the World Youth Forum has been engaging young people from across the world in an enriching set-up, allowing them to exchange views and recommend initiatives to decision-makers and influential figures.
This year, the WYF took place between 14 and 17 December, looking into a number of key topics, including the fourth industrial revolution, food security, the Union for the Mediterranean, and environmental challenges. The discussions also extended to artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, women’s empowerment, and the arts and cinema.
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