To grow up in Egypt means having a part of their childhood spent watching Faten Hamama’s films and series’. Back in the 1950s, she was the one who taught girls the meaning of class and beauty, and gave boys an image of the girl they love the most. Her love story with the famous actor Omar Sherif was the Egyptian version of Romeo and Juliet, and to watch an interview of hers on TV was a big event.
Hamama closed her eyes for the last time last on Saturday at the age of 84, leaving behind millions of beloved and loyal fans crying for their loss.
The star icon remained a fashion model and an idol of modernism and morality her whole life, and left a treasure trove of over 94 films in which she appeared.
Hamama was known as “the lady of the Arabic screen”, and was one of Egypt’s most prominent actresses from the 1950s to early ’70s.
She was born in a small village near Daqhaleya, northwest Egypt in 1931. She started her path on the silver screen in 1940 when she was just nine-years-old, appearing in the film “Nhar Saeed” (“A Happy Day”).
She met the famous Egyptian actor Omar Sherif when they were shooting the film “Seraa’ Fel-Wady” (“A Conflict in the Valley”) together, and they fell deeply in love. So much so that Omar Sherif converted to Islam to marry her.
Hamama was known to discuss social problems in her work, such as in the famous film “Embratoreyet Mem” (“The M Empire”). In this, she played the role of a single mother caring for six children of varying ages, whilst also trying to live a life separate from her responsibility towards them.
Also, there was the film “Afwah w Araneb” where she discussed the problem of birth control in the country side.