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Hamama, Faten Biography




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biography of Hamama, Faten

Faten Ahmed Hamama
27 May 1931, Al Mansurah, Egypt
Faten Hamama (known as "The Lady of the Arabic Screen") has become an icon and the most important actress of Egyptian and Arabic cinema. She is also the most honored actress in the Middle East. Every decade of her life represents a new era of acting and witnessed the reshaping and progression of Egyptian cinema. The progress in her different characters when she started as a child in 1938 until today parallels the progress that modern Egyptian women have made during the 20th century and their interaction with the public, culture or political life. During the celebration of 100 years of Egyptian cinema on 1996, she was chosen as the country's most important actress, and 18 of her films were selected as among the best 150 made to that time. It was no surprise that in 2000 the Egyptian Organization of Critics and Writers named her the Star of the Century. She was born in 1931 in Elmansoura, Egypt, the daughter of Ahmed Hamama, an employee of the Egyptian Ministry of Knowledge. Her legendary journey started as a secret statement between a six-year-old girl and her father after they watched a film in their neighborhood theater, at which leading actress and producer 'Assia Dagher' (qv) was present. Faten told her father that she felt the audience was applauding for her as the leading actress, and her father gave her a hug with a vision of helping his daughter to become a movie star. She won a contest for the most beautiful child in Egypt, and her dad sent her picture to director 'Mohammed Karim (I)' (qv) (a pioneer of Egyptian cinema). Karim was looking for a child for his new film with Egyptian musician 'Mohamed Abdel Wahab (I)' (qv). Faten auditioned for and got a role in this movie, _Yom said (1940)_ (qv) ("A Happy Day"). She impressed the filmmakers so much during shooting that she was actually given more lines and scenes in the picture than were originally scripted for her. Karim put her under contract, and four years later he gave her a role in a film with Mohamed Abdel Wahab again, _Russassa fil kalb (1944)_ (qv) ("A Bullet in the Heart"). With her third movie with Karim, _Dunia (1946)_ (qv), Faten showed filmmakers and audiences alike that she was was an actress ready for bigger roles. Her father, along with her family, moved to Cairo to help her in her career. She also began studying her craft at the High Institute of Acting in 1946. With actor and director 'Youssef Wahby' (qv) (known as the dean of Egyptian theater), Faten started a new stage of her career, in melodramas. Yousef saw her talent in Karim's movies and was able to showcase it to even better advantage in his next film, _Malak al rahma (1946)_ (qv) ("The Angel of Mercy"), in which she played his daughter. Although only 15 years old at the time, it was generally agreed that she stole the film. This teenager was soon the talk of the Egyptian cinema, and her star hasn't set since then. She made more films with Wahby, such as _Kursi el iteraf (1949)_ (qv) ("The Chair of Confession"), in which she played a lover of the cardinal's brother who mistakenly goes to jail for her father's murder. She had another box-office hit with _El yatimatain (1949)_ (qv) ("The Two Orphans"), followed by a successful comedy of the travails of a wife and her mother in law in _Sitt el beit (1949)_ (qv) ("The Lady of the House"). She was the favorite of novelists because she could attract the best writers and directors to a project, and it wasn't soon before her name alone would pretty much guarantee success for whatever film she was in. The 1950s brought new directors to Egyptian cinema and was the beginning of what was to become known as "The Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema". Faten appeared in a number of films by these new directors, such as 'Salah Abouseif (I)' (qv)'s first realism picture, _Laka yom ya zalem (1952)_ (qv) ("Your Day Will Come"), which was a box-office hit and was shown at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France. She appeared in such successful films as _El tarik el masdud (1958)_ (qv) ("The Barred Road") and won a Best Actresss award for her performance in the romantic political movie _La wakta lil hub (1963)_ (qv) ("No Time for Love"). She also supported director 'Youssef Chahine' (qv) in his first movie, _Baba Amin (1950)_ (qv), then again in his even more successful _Siraa Fil-Wadi (1954)_ (qv), a realistic work that was also featured at the Cannes Film Festival (Youssef is on record as saying that Faten is his favorite actress and the best Egyptian actress of all time). She also worked with director 'Kamal El Sheikh' (qv) in his first movie, which introduced the mystery genre to Egyptian cinema, _El manzel rakam tletash (1952)_ (qv) ("House No. 13"), and again in _Lan aataref (1962)_ (qv) ("I Will Not Confess"). Their film _El laila el akhira (1964)_ (qv) ("Last Night") captured at least 10 awards in the 1965 national competition and was also shown at the Cannes festival. She excelled at comedy, as evidenced by her astonishing role in _El ustaza Fatma (1952)_ (qv) as lawyer Fatma. She also worked closely with two other directors of this period, 'Ezzel Dine Zulficar' (qv) and 'Henry Barakat' (qv), and made successful films with both. In fact, she married Zulficar in 1947 while shooting _Abu Zeid el Hilali (1947)_ (qv). He was known as the king of "romantic" movies and together they worked to further that vision, as in _Khulud (1948)_ (qv) ("Immortality"). They formed a production company and made _Moawad ma al hayat (1954)_ (qv) ("Appointment with Life"), which was voted movie of the year and received both critical and box-office success (it was this film that caused critics to name her the "Lady of the Arabic Screen", a title she has kept to this day). Faten soon became the highest-paid actress in Egyptian cinema, and remained so until her final feature, _Ard el ahlam (1993)_ (qv) ("Land of Dreams") and TV series, _"Wagh el qamar" (2000)_ (qv) ("Face of the Moon"). More successful romantic roles with Ezzel Dine followed, such as _Mawad ma al saada (1955)_ (qv) ("ppointment with Happiness"). It was during this period that Dine made his famous quote about Faten: "The distance between Faten and the next runner-up is like the distance between 1 and 10". Although they were divorced in 1954, and Faten married 'Omar Sharif' (qv) in 1955, she and Dine continued to make films together, many of which are considered classics of Egyptian romantic cinema, such as _Bain el atlal (1959)_ (qv) ("Among the Ruins") and what many consider their masterpiece, _Nahr el hub (1961)_ (qv) ("The River of Love"), their version of 'Leo Tolstoy' (qv)'s great story "Anna Karenina", opposite Omar Sharif, and the two became one of the classic romantic couples of Egyptian cinema, appearing again in _Ayyamine el helwa (1955)_ (qv) ("Our Best Days"), _Sayedat el kasr (1959)_ (qv) ("Lady of the Castle"), _La anam (1958)_ (qv) ("Sleepless") and _Siraa Fil-Wadi (1954)_ (qv) ("Struggle in the Valley"). Sharif and Faten divorced on 1974. He made what became a famous statement about Faten, that he only married once because he only loved once, and that was Faten. Director Henry Barakat specialized in musical romantic movies, social commentary and women's rights in society. During the making of _Lahn al khouloud (1953)_ (qv) ("Immortal Song"), they developed a close professional bond, and Barakat used Faten to explore all his talent and all his visions. The success of the romantic musical _Lahn al khouloud (1953)_ (qv) that became the movie of the year challenged both of them to make more successful musical romantic films, which they did with such pictures as _Daiman maak (1954)_ (qv) ("With You Forever") and _Mawad gharam (1956)_ (qv) ("Appointment with Love"). IT was with Barakatg that Fatan made her most famous and beloved picture, with her role as Ammna in _Doa al karawan (1960)_ (qv) ("The Nightingale's Prayer"), which describes differences between revenge and culture through a romantic story. It was nominated for Best Film at Berlin's International Film Festival and almost made it to the Oscars in the US. This film was chosen as one of best ten movies ever made in Egypt. After this picture Faten made several more films that promoted women's rights in society and created more cultural awareness, such as _El bab el maftuh (1964)_ (qv) ("The Open Door"), for which she received the Best Actress award at the Jakarta (Indonesia) International Film Festival. One year later they did it again in _El haram (1965)_ (qv) ("The Sin"), which was shown at the Cannes festival that year and was chosen as one of best five movies ever made in Egypt. Faten and Barakat continued their journey together through decades for more outstanding roles as _Kheit al rafeigh, -al (1971)_ (qv) ("The Thin Thread"), _Afwah wa araneb (1977)_ (qv) ("Mouths and Rabbits"); Faten won Best Actress awards from two international festival for her role in this movie, and it was the highest-grossing Egyptian film ever made until that time. Their last picture together was a remarkable hit, _Leilet al quabd al Fatma (1984)_ (qv) ("The Night of Fatma's Arrest"). Their journey was crowned by a lifetime achievement award for their films together from the Montpellier International Film Festival on 1993. Barakat's was quoted as saying, "If I could get Faten in my films, I will guarantee us the best picture". Faten left Egypt from 1966-1971 because she resisted political pressure that was applied to her. She divided her time between Lebanon and London, England. During this period Egyptian president 'Gamal Abdel Nasser' (qv) asked some prominent critics and writers to try to persuade her to return to Egypt, saying that "Faten Hamama is a national treasure". Her return to Egypt on 1971 breathed life back into Egyptian cinema. She insisted that her films reflect the values of the society through the family relationships. Her role in _Emberatoriet meem (1972)_ (qv) ("Empire M") as a widow with six children and the struggles she endured to raise them made the film a success both critically and financially, and she earned a special award from an organization of Soviet Union women when the film was shown at the Moscow International Film Festival. Her film _Orid hallan (1975)_ (qv) ("Need a Solution") was not only a big hit but resulted in changes to Egyptian marriage and divorce laws. Faten won the Best Actress award at the Cairo International Film Festival and a Prize of Recognition at the Teheran (Iran) Film Festival. She continued to make films that commented on society, such as _Oghneyat elmoot (1973)_ (qv) ("The Song of Death"), _Ualla azae lel sayedat (1979)_ (qv) ("No Condolences for Ladies"), _Yom mor... yom helw (1988)_ (qv) ("Bitter Days, Sweet Days") and her last feature, _Ard el ahlam (1993)_ (qv) ("Land of Dreams"), and her TV series, _"Dameer abla Hekmat" (1994)_ (qv) ("The Consciousness of Teacher Hekmat") and _"Wagh el qamar" (2000)_ (qv) ("The Face of the Moon"), which was shown in 23 countries in the Middle East. Faten Hamama is the fourth Pyramid in Egyptian cinema, a legend in her platinum anniversary, the diamond that remained shining and kept its glowing over the decades on the silver screen.
[Ahmed Ramy] ahmedramy@sbcglobal.net (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)



-   'Omar Sharif' (qv) (1954 - 1974) (divorced); 1 child

-   'Ezzel Dine Zulficar' (qv) (1947 - 1953) (divorced); 1 child


-   The Lady of the Arab Screen


-   Mother of 'Tarek Sharif (I)' (qv) and 'Nadia Zulfakar' (qv). Her family included her older brother Muneer, her younger brother Mazhar and her younger sister Layla.

-   She made her first appearance in the film _Yom said (1940)_ (qv) as a young girl with 'Mohamed Abdel Wahab (I)' (qv).


-   She is an honoray advisory board member in the Arabic Organizaiton for childern development, led by Prince Talal Ebn Abdelaziz.

-   Co-founder of the "heart patients society" in Dar Elfouad hospital, in Cairo. The hospital does some free heart operations where the society contributes through paying half of its costs. [Nov, 2000]


-   Tarek El Shenawy. _Faten Hamama, The Star of the Melinium._ Alexandria: Alexandria International Festival, 2001.

-   Minestry of Culture. _Faten Hamama,The Lady of the Arabic Screen._ Cairo: 15th Cairo International Film Festival Publications, 1991.

-   Samir Farid (Critic). _Faten Hamama._ Cairo, Egypt: The union of culture developments, 1993.

-   Adly Eldehaibi. _Filmography of Faten Hamama._ Carthage, Tunisia: Carthage film festival, 1978.

-   Abdelnour Khalil. _Men in Faten Hamama's life._ Cairo: Dar Elhelal newspapaer, 1960.

-   Abdelbadih Serbah. _The Million's Goddess._ Bairout: Almawed Magazine, 1962.


-   [in a 2001 interview] I'm very proud of everything I gave so far. Art and acting is not only about fame and publicity, it's more serious business. If everyone does their work seriously with respect, they will be proud of it.

-   I believe in the saying, "The art is all what sublimates the human feeling . . . and all what falls by the feeling does not belong to art".

-   [in 1999, about her being awarded a PhD from Cairo's American University] I believe this means honoring all the artists in Egyptian cinema and Egyptian art. I was very pleased by this honoring; despite all other prizes I have previously achieved. The honorary of a doctorate from a scientific and an internationally certified educational board has a different taste.

-   I was always dealing with art as a part of my life, I loved it so much. I never dealt with it to be a professional. Otherwise, I would have gathered lots of money. I belong to a generation where loving art was everything to your soul. [on how did she deal with Art in her life]

-   [1/1/79, when asked when she was going to direct her own films] I'm not like 'Charles Chaplin' (qv), to act and direct at same time.

-   [interview on 3/8/84, on why she didn't run for the Egyptian Senate] I'm still an artist and I state my opinion through art. I believe that drama picture touches and approaches people more than a political speech.


-   _"Wagh el qamar" (2000)_ (qv) -> 1,000,000 lb


-   "Africultures" (France), 17 September 2004, Iss. 63, by: Olivier Barlet. "Salé 2004 : quels écrans de femmes . Un hommage a été prononcé lors de la cérémonie de clôture à l'actrice égyptienne Faten Hamama"

-   "Middle East Times" (Egypt), 14 September 2001, by: News editor, "Faten Hamama awarded lifetime achievement prize"

-   "Al-Ahram Weekly News" (Egypt), 8 February 2001, Iss. 520, by: Madame Sosostris "Lebonon recognizes and honor Faten Hamama by Emile Lahoud, Nazik and Rafik El-Hariri"

-   "Al-Ahram Weekly News" (Egypt), 27 April 2000, Iss. 479, by: Khaireya Khairy, "Reflected glow"

-   "Al-Ahram Weekly News" (Egypt), 11 February 1999, Iss. 416, by: Madame Sosostris http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/1999/416/pack.htm, "Honorary PhD in recognition of the artistic achievements"

-   "The Magazine of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement" (Switzerland.), 1 January 1996, by: Magazine editors, "Faten Hamama, narrator in the movie of "Voices from the Aftermath""

-   "Le Monde" (France), 3 November 1993, Iss. 474, pg. 1, by: Merigeau Pascal, "CINÉMA Festival du cinéma méditerranéen de Montpellier Une mer de promesses, Tributes Henry Barakat et Faten Hamama"

-   "Le Monde" (France), 2 July 1992, pg. 1, by: News editor, "Palmarès de la Biennale des cinémas arabes. Le jury était présidé par la vedette égyptienne Faten Hamama."

-   "Le Monde" (France), 18 June 1992, Iss. 264, pg. 1, by: Frodon Jean Michel, "la première Biennale des cinémas arabes,"


-   "Almawed Magazine" (Egypt), 9 July 2005, Iss. 2194

-   "Akher Saa" (Egypt), 8 November 2000, Iss. 3446

-   "Alkawakeb Magazine" (Egypt), 8 August 2000, Iss. 2558

-   "Almawed Magazine" (Lebanon), 18 April 1986, Iss. 1207

All Pictures

Faten Hamama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Faten Hamama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs
Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs

Picture of Faten Hamama
Picture of Faten Hamama
Faten Hamama filmography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Faten Hamama filmography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Egyptian Castle - Wallpaper - Faten Hamama
The Egyptian Castle - Wallpaper - Faten Hamama
Bellydancers in the movies
Bellydancers in the movies

Faten Hamama | Egypt Independent
Faten Hamama | Egypt Independent
Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs
Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs




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Faten Hamama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs Picture of Faten Hamama Faten Hamama filmography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Egyptian Castle - Wallpaper - Faten Hamama Bellydancers in the movies Faten Hamama | Egypt Independent Faten Hamama - egyptian moviestars and arab celebs
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Acting in movies

  1. "Wagh el qamar" (2000)
  2. "Dameer abla Hekmat" (1994)
  3. Ard el ahlam (1993)
  4. Yom mor... yom helw (1988)
  5. Leilet al quabd al Fatma (1984)
  6. Hekaya wara kol bab (1979) (TV)
  7. Ualla azae lel sayedat (1979)
  8. Afwah wa araneb (1977)
  9. Habibati (1975)
  10. Orid hallan (1975)
  11. Oghneyat elmoot (1973)
  12. Emberatoriet meem (1972)
  13. Kheit al rafeigh, -al (1971)
  14. Rimal min dhahab (1971)
  15. Hob al kabir, -al (1969)
  16. Shaia fi hayati (1966)
  17. Egihteraf, -al (1965)
  18. El haram (1965)
  19. Hikayet el omr kulluh (1965)
  20. El bab el maftuh (1964)
  21. El laila el akhira (1964)
  22. Cairo (1963)
  23. La wakta lil hub (1963)
  24. "Cinépanorama" (1956) {(1963-11-23)}
  25. Al maugh geza (1962)
  26. La tutfi el shams (1962)
  27. Lan aataref (1962)
  28. Nahr el hub (1961)
  29. Doa al karawan (1960)
  30. Bain el atlal (1959)
  31. Sayedat el kasr (1959)
  32. El tarik el masdud (1958)
  33. El zoja el azraa (1958)
  34. Hatta naltaki (1958)
  35. La anam (1958)
  36. Tarik el amal (1958)
  37. Ard el salam (1957)
  38. El kalb loh ahkam (1957)
  39. I Never Sleep (1957)
  40. Lan abki abadan (1957)
  41. Hub wa demoue (1956)
  42. Mawad gharam (1956)
  43. Siraa Fil-Mina (1956)
  44. Allah maana (1955)
  45. Ayyamine el helwa (1955)
  46. Irham demoui (1955)
  47. Mawad ma al saada (1955)
  48. Athar ala alremal (1954)
  49. Baad al wedah (1954)
  50. Bint al hawa (1954)
  51. Daiman maak (1954)
  52. El malak el zalem (1954)
  53. Kuloub el naas (1954)
  54. Moawad ma al hayat (1954)
  55. Siraa Fil-Wadi (1954)
  56. Abid el mal (1953)
  57. Aisha (1953)
  58. Amwal el yatama (1953)
  59. Hub fil zalam (1953)
  60. Lahn al khouloud (1953)
  61. Al-muharrij al-Kabir (1952)
  62. Asrar el naas (1952)
  63. Cass el azab (1952)
  64. El manzel rakam tletash (1952)
  65. El ustaza Fatma (1952)
  66. El zuhur el fatina (1952)
  67. Isalu kalbi (1952)
  68. Laka yom ya zalem (1952)
  69. Min ara'a jabini (1952)
  70. Zaman el ajab (1952)
  71. Akhlak lel beia (1951)
  72. Ana al maadi (1951)
  73. Ana bint nass (1951)
  74. Ibn el halal (1951)
  75. Ibn el Nil (1951)
  76. Khadaini abi (1951)
  77. Widaan ya gharami (1951)
  78. Baba Amin (1950)
  79. Bayumi effendi (1950)
  80. Zalamuni el nass (1950)
  81. El halaka el safkuda (1949)
  82. El yatimatain (1949)
  83. Kul beit illa rajul (1949)
  84. Kursi el iteraf (1949)
  85. Nahwal majd (1949)
  86. Sitt el beit (1949)
  87. El ikab (1948)
  88. El millionaira el saghira (1948)
  89. Hayat haira (1948)
  90. Kanat malakan (1948)
  91. Khulud (1948)
  92. Abu Zeid el Hilali (1947)
  93. El malak el abiad (1947)
  94. Kanz el saada (1947)
  95. Malika fi gehennam (1947)
  96. Nour minel samaa (1947)
  97. Al-kena al ahmar (1946)
  98. Dunia (1946)
  99. El-hanim (1946)
  100. Malak al rahma (1946)
  101. Awal el shahir (1945)
  102. Russassa fil kalb (1944)
  103. Yom said (1940)

Written

  1. Orid hallan (1975) (idea)