Egyptian Chronicles: RIP Faten Hamama “1931-2015”

Saturday, January 17, 2015

RIP Faten Hamama “1931-2015”

Just from less than an hour ago it was announced in Cairo that great Arab Cinema legend Faten Hamama has passed away after short illness according to her family.
RIP Faten
It is just sad and heart breaking. Faten Hamama was true legend by all measures. An actress since the age of 7 years old , Hamama truly deserves the title of “Lady of Arab Silver screen”.



7-years old Faten Hamama
Having a very long resume , Hamama’s work left a huge mark in the Egyptian and Arabic cinema with her amazing talent. I loved her simplicity and how she used to wear her characters in films like gloves. Of course to be honest , I am not fond of her films as teenage girl and melodrama queen in 1940s and early 1950s but that teenage girl became extremely talented in late 1950s and 1960s.
A symbol of elegance , grace and style "Classic FB page"
Starting from 1960s and 1970s Hamama was the from few stars that made films discussed Egyptian women’s social problems in unprecedented way like in her film “I want a solution” which discussed the problem of divorce in the past.
Currently I got many films in my mind whether “The Nightingale's Payer” or “The Open Door” or the “Last Night” or “I Never sleep”, Something in my life, I need a solution and Ladies are not offered condolences. The list goes on and on
Internationally Hamama starred in An American film called “Cairo”.
On a personal level Faten Hamama married three times. She was first married to famous legendary director Ezz El-Din Zulficar in 1947 but they were divorced in 1954 after one daughter “Nadia”. In the same year she met Omar Sharif who was her co-star in a film directed by her ex-husband. Both Hamama and Sharif fell in the love. Sharif who was Christian converted to Islam and married her in 1955. The couple had one son "Tarek"
Nadia Zulfikar , Faten Hamama, Tarek and
Omar El-Sharif above "Classic FB page"
They were the original Egyptian “It” couple or the original Egyptian “Bragalina” without charity or children.
Old Faten still had that grace 
Despite their love , they separated in 1966 as Sharif became an international cinema star. They got an official divorce in 1974.
Till this day Omar Sharif maintains that Faten Hamama was the love of his life.
Later in the 1970s she married famous Egyptian surgeon Mohamed Abdel Wahab Mahmoud, the co-founder and Chairman of “CairoScan” Labs
Despite being in her prime time during the 1960s , Faten Hamama had to leave Egypt for several years and stay Beirut to avoid Nasser’s intelligence's harassment after her separation from Omar Sharif.
A huge critic to Nasser and the military rule , Hamama endorsed President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the elections saying that he was a decent good man in 2014.
Egyptians as well Arabs feel sad for the death of that iconic star. Recently her old photos were shared madly on Facebook pages and groups as an example of how elegant Egyptian ladies were.
Here is an interview with her in 1960s during Beirut Film Festival in French.
Faten Hamama in 1963 speaks about art and politics in French
For me Egypt in the past was a mix of legendary Faten Hamama, Shadia and Soad Hosni. Soad and Faten left us and now Shadia is remaining.
May Allah bless Faten Hamama’s soul.
Here is my favorite Faten Hamama’s film : The nightingale’s prayer. Based on a novel by Taha Hussein and produced in 1959 , Faten gave one of her best performances ever in that film directed by Henry Barakat and co-starred by Ahmed Mazhar. Personally I believe Barakat and Hamama were a perfect team along with Ahmed Mazhar too. The film is in Arabic , I wish I can find a version with English subtitles to share.
The Nightingale's prayer

2 comments :

  1. Thank you for your lovely and loving personal tribute. I was aware of her work before, but am now inspired to pay closer attention to her films and career.

    ReplyDelete

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