Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

Sanaa Shafea was an actor, theater director and professor and the dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Cairo. (Egyptian media)
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Updated 12 August 2020

Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

  • The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days
  • Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone"

CAIRO: Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea died on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a short illness.
The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days before he died in hospital, Egyptian newspapers said. 
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone in Egyptian theatrical performance,” Al-Akhbar El-Youm newspaper reported.
Abdel Dayem said that throughout his career he succeeded in performing complex characters and produced a group of immortal works.
The actor, theater director and professor was the dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Cairo.  
He reportedly married nine times, among them his marriage to Egyptian actor Nada Bassiouny.
Born in 1943, in Assiut region, Upper Egypt, Shafea lived in a village for eight years before moving to Cairo with his father.
His love for acting was met with objection from his father, who was a scholar at Al-Azhar Islamic Institute.
Shafea took part in almost 30 films and played a number of roles in many television series, the most prominent of which are “Omar bin Abdul Aziz”, “Haroun Al-Rasheed”, “Bab Al-Khalq”, “Hadret Al Motaham Aby”, and during last Ramadan he participated in “Layalina 80”.


‘I should not have to justify myself’ to wear a turban: French Muslim singer Mennel

Updated 13 min 6 sec ago

‘I should not have to justify myself’ to wear a turban: French Muslim singer Mennel

  • Star of ‘The Voice’ kicks off first tour wanting to be judged on her Arab-influenced music, not appearance  

DUBAI: French Muslim singer Mennel, who shot to fame following her remarkable debut 2 years ago on France’s version of “The Voice,” claims she should “not have to justify herself” over whether or not to wear a turban.

Speaking to Arab News en français on Wednesday, the songstress, who last year went on to audition for “America’s Got Talent,” said her motivation for donning the headwear was “a matter of intimacy.”

The star, who begins her first tour in November, pointed out that figures in the music world were all too often “judged by our appearances,” adding that she would rather be recognized as a person and an artist, than as a symbol.

“I’m here to share music, to share my art … and I find it so unfortunate that I am not considered for what I can do.”

A music-lover with eclectic taste, Mennel (whose surname is Ibtissem) said she was influenced by French, English, and Arabic music in her artistic production. “Arab music gave me this bright yet quite nostalgic side,” she added.

She confined herself to a small island, “far from it all,” to work on her latest album “Heal,” due to be released this month, and she revealed that the title for her “therapeutic” work was chosen to express the mourning of love and its will to overcome it.

Mennel kickstarts her inaugural tour on Nov. 20 in the city of Besançon, in eastern France before heading to Lille, Brussels, and Poitiers. Details are available on her website at mennelofficial.com