Hundreds gather at funeral of Egyptian actress Faten Hamama

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Egyptian Actress Faten Hamama Dies at 83.

BEIRUT: Lebanese politicians expressed their condolences following the passing of Arab film icon Faten Hamama who died Saturday, at the age of 83, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) said.In an Egypt dominated by political developments, news and debates, one video caught all eyes and went viral in 2013: an interview with an eloquent, elegant and charming as ever Faten Hamama. Geagea expressed his condolences to Hamama’s relatives, her fans and to Egyptians in general saying “the Lady of the Arabic screen shall remain a beautiful memory in our consciousness and a source of pride to Egyptians and Arabs alike.” Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora also commented on the actress’ passing, quoted by the NNA as saying “with Hamama’s death, the Arabic screen is now left without its respectful and discreet lady who represented her country and nation, and presented a classy and decent model of culture and art and creativity.” Siniora also expressed his condolences to the Lebanese, Egyptian and Arab audiences hoping for an artistic and cultural “renaissance” in the Arab World. “The Lady of the Arabic screen,” as she was known, died after suffering from a “sudden health problem,” according to Egypt’s official news agency MENA.

Conducted in the 1960s, the video triggered a bittersweet nostalgia that reminded many people of where we stand today: sexual harassment, illiteracy, poverty, and the bare existence of anything that can be called beautiful. Hamama appeared in almost 100 films, often alongside her now ex-husband, three-time Golden Globe winner Omar Sharif, and was one of Egypt’s most prominent actresses from the 1950s to early ’70s.

She was a true example of the Egyptian woman.” Her last public appearance was in 2014 when she attended, along with other actors and singers, a meeting with former army chief Abdul Fattah Al Sissi during his presidential campaign. Watching that interview, one would be less surprised if one had studied Hamama’s choice of characters: strong-willed, freedom-hungry women who continuously push for more rights. Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus) In the wake of the January 25 revolution, many young women saw themselves in her as she played Layla, The Open Door (1964), a young woman who tries to join the fight for Egypt’s liberation and herself, culminating with her joining the political resistance during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

In her 1975 film, I Want a Solution, she was the first to speak up against laws governing marriage and divorce in Egypt, which were mostly biased to the man, and demand women’s right to divorce. She graced our screens in over 100 films and her pioneering work will remain an inspiration to generations of cineastes, actors and audiences in the Middle East and beyond for years to come,” said Diff chairman Abdul Hamid Juma. “It was our absolute privilege to honour such a distinguished artist and human being at DIFF in 2009 with a Lifetime Achievement Award and we will always cherish her performances in many of the all-time great movies in Arab cinema. Footage and references to Hamama’s classic films are shown throughout the film. “At least in our own way we got to say goodbye to Faten Hamama before she leaves. Hamama’s career was highlighted by numerous collaborations with the most prominent filmmakers in the history of Egyptian cinema, including international acclaimed director Youssef Chahine, Kamal El-Sheikh and Salah Abou Seif.

Based on a novel by Youssef Idris, the film and the novel show the oppression that peasants, especially landless ones, faced before the 1952 revolution, which brought in radical agricultural reforms that allowed farmers to own their land. She represented a more beautiful time, a political will—even if fictional, the realisation of a progressive cultural and social dream that now 40 years later is still being yearned for and can only be lived and experienced inside a black box and a screen. Today people are saddened by Hamama’s departure, and among these crowds many also feel sorry for themselves as they continue to drift alone as far as can be from a time that held the last traces of beauty.

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