Most famed Arab actresses who were magnificent mothers on screen

Updated 21 March 2018

Most famed Arab actresses who were magnificent mothers on screen

CAIRO: Arab cinema fans would hardly forget some of the Middle East’s iconic actresses who brilliantly played the role of mothers on screen, for their memorable roles are deeply ingrained within their audiences.

And as the region marks Mother’s Day, Arab News is honored to shed light on some of these magnificent cinematic mothers.

Amina Rezk (1910 — 2003)
Rezk was a popular Egyptian actress who took part in 208 artworks and is known for her roles as the kind-hearted mother in plays and films. Her most notable motherly roles include “Do3a2 Al Karawan” aka The Nightingale’s Prayer; “Bidaya wa Nehaya” aka A Beginning and an End, and “Kandil Om Hashem” or The Lamp of Umm Hashim.

Ferdos Mohamed (1906 — 1961)
She is one of the greatest mother’s in Egyptian cinema, who probably haven’t played any other role expect for a loving mother.

Karima Mokhtar (1934 — 2017)
There is no doubt that “Mama Noona” is on the top of the list, a character played by Mukhtar dubbed as one of her many successful motherly roles. The legendary Egyptian actress has perfectly prorated the Egyptian mother in many of her roles, inlcuding the caring Karima in “Ya Rab Wald” and the pan-Arab loved play “Al Ayal Kibrit.”

Faten Hamama (1931 — 2015)
While cinema-goers are used to seeing her as an elegant and beautiful icon of Egyptian cinema, Faten Hamama has played significant motherly roles over the course of her career, such as “Emberatoriet meem” or Empire M, which tells the story of a wealthy widow who struggles to raise her six children.

Abla Kamel
The Egyptian actress is known for her stellar performances across the Arab world. Her most memorable role is playing Fatma, the hard-working wife of a self-made millionaire in the iconic rags-to-riches story, “Lan Aish fi Jilbab Abi.”

Hayat Al Fahd
The legendary Kuwaiti actress is known for motherly roles across the Gulf and often appeared as the caregiver of the family, and is known as ‘The Lady of the Khaliji small screen.’


‘Noura’s Dream’ becomes nightmare dilemma in this raw tale

Hend Sabry plays the lead role in ‘Noura’s Dream.’ (Supplied)
Updated 16 October 2019

‘Noura’s Dream’ becomes nightmare dilemma in this raw tale

CHENNAI: Hinde Boujemaa’s “Noura’s Dream,” which premiered at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and later featured at El Gouna Film Festival, saw the movie’s protagonist, Hend Sabry (Noura), clinch best actress award at the latter.

The director, who also wrote the script, tackles an unusual dilemma for a woman being pulled in three different directions by her husband, lover and three young children, two of them girls.

It is certainly not an easy task to lead a story such as this – emotionally complicated and set in Tunisia – to a closure.

In an interview with Variety, Boujemaa said: “There have been movies about adultery, but very few of them have been wholly empathetic to the woman. There’s often a kind of moral judgement attached. I wanted to make a film without any hint of moralizing.”

“Noura’s Dream” opens with a romantic scene. Working in a prison laundry, she is seen on her phone talking to her lover, handsome garage mechanic Lassaad (Hakim Boumsaoudi), and the two are all set to marry, her divorce just days away.

Her husband, Jamel (Lotfi Abdelli), is in jail having been caught committing petty crimes but when he is freed early after a presidential pardon, things get messy.

The director tackles an unusual dilemma for a woman being pulled in three different directions by her husband, lover and three young children. (Supplied) 

Boujemaa’s film has the feel of a Ken Loach (British director) movie, with its take on the predicament of the working class. There is a certain raw quality about “Noura’s Dream,” devoid of the polish and psychological complexities of “Marriage Story” (screened at Venice), in which auteur Noah Baumbach portrays the pain of a marital split with a degree of levity and sophistication.

A similar approach and treatment cannot be taken with Noura’s story, which is set in a very different kind of social environment that gives little freedom or equality to a woman. Take, for instance, the scene in which Noura’s defense lawyer, a woman, makes her client feel small and guilty, reminding her of the injustice and harm a split would do to her children.

Boujemaa’s film has the feel of a Ken Loach (British director) movie. (Supplied) 

Sabry brings to the fore the quandary of Noura, who is completely lost.

Should she go ahead with the divorce and marry Lassaad, a union that could mean abandoning her children who need their mother? Or should she stick with her wayward husband? There are no easy answers.