Egypt bids farewell to comedy legend Samir Ghanem

Bassant Mohammed
3 Min Read

Fans across Egypt have been celebrating the life and legacy of the late comedy legend Samir Ghanem, following his passing last week at the age of 84 from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

They have been revisiting his artistic works and interviews, sharing the best snippets on social media.

Among his best known roles were the comic character of Fatota, a famous TV classic from the 1980s. He was also a member of the Tholathy Adwa’a El-Masrah, the 1960s stand-up comedy trio in which he appeared alongside George Sidhom and El Deif Ahmed.

Ghanem was one of the country’s favourite comedians, performing in dozens of theatre works, television series, and films during a career that spanned over half a century, and which left a memorable imprint.

The legendary actor died, on Thursday, in a Cairo hospital where he was admitted after contracting COVID-19 in late April, the Ministry of Culture revealed. 

On Friday, many celebrities flocked to the El-Mosheer Tantawy Mosque, in the Fifth Settlement district of Cairo, for Ghanem’s funeral prayers. The actor was buried in  the El Wafaa Wal-Amal Cemetery, in Nasr City.

Celebrities including Yousra, Mervat Amin, Enas El-Degheidy, Samah Anwar, Ashraf Zaki and his wife Rogena, Nihal Anber, Mahmoud Hemida, Maged El Masry, Hala Sedki, Ehab Fahmi, Basma, Ahmed Bedier, Lebleba, and Elham Shahin, were among those who attended the funeral.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi mourned Ghanem’s passing on Friday, posting on social media platforms, “Ghanem left behind him a great legacy of works that drew a smile on the faces of Egyptians and the Arab nation.”

He added that “the late actor was the best model for an artist who lived to spread joy and make everyone happy”.

Moreover, Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem said that the Arab world had lost an exceptional comedy icon who created scores of works filled with joy and comedy. 

The minister indicated that his distinctive style succeeded in attracting the hearts of the public over the decades.

In 2017, he received the Faten Hamama Honorary and Excellence Award during the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF). The award served as testament to the vital role he has played in the film scene and his immense contribution to Egyptian cinema.

Ghanem leaves behind wife Dalal Abdel Aziz, who is also hospitalised with COVID-19, and two daughters who are also well-known actresses, Donia and Amy. 

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