April 2010

Togo Mizrahi (1905 – 1986)

By |April 26th, 2010|

Togo Mizrahi, with a Ph.D in economics, and fluent in several languages, was an immensely productive figure in Egypt’s early cin­ema. In sixteen years he made thirty-two films, as director, author, scriptwriter, set designer, and sometimes actor. Between 1930 and 1946 he worked with […]

December 2009

Omar Sharif (1931 – )

By |December 12th, 2009|

Omar al-Sharif was born Michel Dimitri Shalhoub, to an Alexandrian family of Lebanese descent. He was discovered by director Yusef Chahine, who cast him in three films: Sira’afil-Wadi (Feud in the Valley, 1953), Shaytan al-Sahara (The Desert Devil, 1954), and Sira’a fil-Mina (Feud in […]

Salah Abu Sayf (1915 – 1996)

By |December 12th, 2009|

Cairo is the capital of the cinema industry in the Arab World. It could not have attained this status without pioneers like Salah Abu Sayf. Starting out as an editor, he went on to directing films for over fifty years.

His movies have two distinctive […]

Rushdi Abaza (1927 – 1982)

By |December 12th, 2009|

Born of an Italian mother and an Egyptian father, Rushdi Abaza was the scion of a respectable old family whose members held high posts in the state. As a stu­dent at St. Mark’s College in Alexandria, Rushdi was fonder of body building and athletics […]

Suad Husni (1943 – )

By |December 12th, 2009|

After she first appeared in Henri Barakat’s Hassan wa Na’eema (Hassan and Na’eema, 1959), Suad Husni became known as the Cinderella of the Screen and The Mischievous Girl. Born into an artistic family, she started her career at the age of three. She could […]

Anwar Wagdi (1904-1955)

By |December 12th, 2009|

Anwar Wagdi was of Syrian origin, the son of a textile trader, and believed from an early age that he resembled the American actor Robert Taylor. His first appearance on stage was in Julius Caesar in 1922. It was not until ten years later […]

Layla Murad (1918-1995)

By |December 12th, 2009|

Layla Murad began her film career in 1932, singing “The Day of Departure” in al-Dahaya (The Victims), directed by Badr Lama. Egyptian cinema was on the threshold of sound. The Victims had originally been made as a silent film, but the public wanted Hollywood-style […]