Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

She died in Cairo in December 1983 at the age of 75. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 04 August 2020

Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

  • Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema
  • Her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s”

DUBAI: Google honored one of Egypt’s cinema icons Bahiga Hafez with a doodle on Tuesday, in what would have been the star’s 112th birthday.

The doodle, which shows a young Hafez with a pearl-embellished head dress, was illustrated by Cairo-based artist Marian El-Reweny.

Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema – both as an on-screen talent and behind the scenes where she would work as a producer, director, editor, costume designer or composer.

The Alexandria-born pioneering icon earned a degree in music composition in Paris in 1930. She moved back to Egypt to work with record companies until she was cast as the female lead in the silent film “Zeinab” for her debut onscreen performance.

Hafez and her husband, Mahmoud Hamdi, established Fanar Film Company two years later, which further demonstrated her talent in filmmaking. The company released “Al-Dahaya” in 1932, and Hafez played a crucial role in its production.

The groundbreaking star went on to produce more films, and her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s,” Google said.

She died in Cairo in December 1983 at the age of 75.

 


Hong Kong journalists protest new accreditation rules

Updated 24 September 2020

Hong Kong journalists protest new accreditation rules

  • The rules outlined in a Tuesday letter from police have been criticized as a further erosion of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s once robust press freedoms
  • Only journalists registered with the Government News and Media Information Service or members of ‘internationally recognized and reputable’ foreign media will be recognized

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s professional journalism association on Thursday protested new rules restricting who can provide press coverage during demonstrations, saying the government has no right to determine who is or isn’t a reporter.
The rules outlined in a Tuesday letter from police have been criticized as a further erosion of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s once robust press freedoms since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in June that has had a chilling effect on political speech.
Only journalists registered with the Government News and Media Information Service or members of “internationally recognized and reputable” foreign media outlets will be recognized as journalists during protests, according to the police letter.
That appears to undercut the authority of the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Hong Kong Press Photographers Association to vet candidates for membership and issue press cards, placing that right solely in the hands of government officials, as is the case in mainland China.
“Police cannot be permitted to use administrative means to screen only officially recognized media, thus undermining the fundamental rights of the people of Hong Kong,” the Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement.
In their letter, the police said their goal is to weed out troublemakers posing as journalists who they say disrupted police action against protesters over several months of sometimes violent anti-government demonstrations.
“Following the amendment, the definition of ‘media representatives’ will become clearer and unequivocal, allowing front-line officers to efficiently and swiftly verify the identity of media representatives so that facilitation can be provided without compromising police operational efficiency,” the police letter said.
The regulations leave it to the police to determine what media outlets are “internationally recognized and reputable” and could discriminate against freelancers and independent and student journalists, who often work alone with minimal equipment and infrastructure.
Hong Kong has dropped steadily in Reporters Without Borders annual World Press Freedom Index, falling seven places this year to 80.
Hong Kong’s press freedom “is already in retreat as a result of pressure from Beijing,” the group said, citing among cases the expulsion of Financial Times Asia editor Victor Mallet in October 2018 after he chaired an even at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong that was condemned by Beijing.