An art lover sees life from an artistic perspective. The artist in the spotlight today excelled in all her works to the extent that she does not know how she went through this long artistic journey in a flash.
She believes that an artist must have a role and not live without a cause, and that is why we have seen her present lively works that positively affect society throughout her career.
She is Nabila Obeid, who opened her heart to Daily News Egypt and talked about her new radio show and the art scene.
What is the secret behind your enthusiasm and willingness to hosting your own show on the radio?
More than a year ago, the Egyptian radio asked me to present a weekly programme titled ‘With Nabila Obeid.’ I found the idea quite appealing, and I was excited to appear on a radio programme in which I spoke about many things in the art scene, my memories of the films and other works of art that I starred in — whether on radio or television or theatre.
I also wanted to speak about my memories with iconic stars and international and Arab art festivals that I participated in.
Moreover, I wanted to talk about my life, starting from my school years, to joining the Girls’ College, and the beginning of my artistic career when I met the great director Atef Salem and starred in the movie ‘Rabaa Al-Adawiya.’
How did you prepare for the programme?
We have already started recording episodes. The great interviewer, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, and the distinguished director, Mohamed Turky, will take part in it.
The programme will be broadcast in Radio Greater Cairo station and will be full of surprises. I feel very happy to return to my audience through the radio and interact with listeners through the questions and inquiries that I will answer.
Why did you choose to host your show on the Egyptian Radio?
The Egyptian radio has a long history, and it is the radio of my country, and it was my feelings of patriotism that made me choose it without thinking; I consider it an honour, really.
On the Egyptian radio, I tasted the beginning of success, and that’s how my audience came to know me at the beginning of my artistic career in successful radio series such as ‘Paradise’, ‘Patience in the Salinas’, ‘All This Love’, ‘Official Papers’, and ‘Forgive me, I did not mean it.’ That is why it was necessary for me to return to my roots and present my story and great artistic career.
Do you consider this programme an adventure?
It certainly is an adventure, and this is my habit, as I always used to surprise the audience with my adventures — whether in cinema, television, or radio — and it’s a great show.
I consider this programme a project that I wanted to present for years, especially since the works that I was receiving offers for were not to my satisfaction — either in terms of writing, ideas, and processing.
This is why I have been absent recently, as I am always keen to pay attention to any work that I present to the audience. This programme will be a very useful experience for me to communicate with the audience and convey the experiences and life situations that I have gone through, which can benefit listeners interested in the art scene.
I am sure of the success of this experiment and that it will reach the minds and hearts of listeners through Radio Greater Cairo, which is affiliated with the prestigious and purposeful Egyptian radio and has a large audience, especially as we are already planning to transition this show from the radio to the television screen.
Have you been experiencing positive interactions from the public on social media recently?
I feel great love and appreciation from the public towards me on social media, as it brought me closer to the audience and became a means of communication that I can use to respond to them with happiness.
Is there a similarity between your programme and late star Samir Sabry’s ‘My Memories’?
Of course not, the programme is quite different from My Memories in form and content.
Samir’s programme was a talk show, which is not the case for my programme.
I was keen to follow his show regularly, as it was based on hosting stars and talking to them and talking about various other topics, while my programme deals with my career and journey and the experiences that I went through, so there is no comparison between the two programmes.
Has this project been enjoyable for you?
I am having a lot of fun with the programme, as it is allowing me to talk about my memories and the details of my long artistic career in cinema, drama, and radio, which started in 1963.
The idea was quite appealing to me after I thought about it long and hard, especially since I am talking about a long journey with many obstacles and successes.
The journey was not easy as some may think; I went through all the feelings, and I did not knock on any doors. Rather, I relied on my talent and my understanding of my fans’ needs and presented topics they found relevant.
Does the programme cover your personal life?
The main focus of the programme is on my artistic career, and I did not intend to withhold my personal life, but it will not be the basis of the episodes.
The artistic journey is the focus, as I see it as an important reference from which new generations, art lovers, or those who aspire to enter the art scene can learn.
Wouldn’t some interpret this as an educational show for future generations?
Of course not, the idea of the programme will not be a lesson or a message for the current generation.
I would never dedicate the programme as a message or to tell people how to live their lives.
I only speak about the stages I went through, and listeners can choose to interpret it in whichever way they choose.
Is the show ready, or are you still recording episodes?
I have already recorded some episodes of the programme, and another number of episodes will be recorded consecutively soon.
We did not set a specific plan nor a specific number of episodes for the programme, but I have put myself and the details of my life at the disposal of Mohammad Abdel Aziz — who is interviewing me — and director Mohammad Turki, and we made the format of the show a sort of open conversation.
We still have quite a way to go, as the programme will include the journeys of a large number of Egyptian artists that I have worked with, such as Hussein Riad, Souad Hosni, Hassan Youssef, Imad Hamdi, Farid Shawqi, Rushdi Abaza, Ahmed Mazhar, Kamal Al-Shennawy, and so much more.
The programme will also address the biography of director Youssef Chahine, who I was very proud to work with, and the first episode of the programme will be dedicated to the soul of the late artist Samir Sabry.
Samir and I have a long history, and we have many memories together. He was an artist, a friend, a man who loved life, and a person known for his love of good and art.
The audience will be aware of the date of the programme every week very shortly via Radio Greater Cairo and ‘Radio Garden’, which is on the internet.
What’s next for Nabila Obeid? Television or Cinema?
Both; I decided to return to making movies, and I have been working on something for a while that will be a surprise to the audience. I was also offered a role in a new series, but I did not fully agree to it just yet.
Why haven’t you made films with young artists yet?
I have no objection to presenting cinematic works with young artists, but that is on the condition that my role is influential and written in a manner befitting the position I have achieved in art and my long artistic career.
Who is the current star, who is close to Nabila Obeid?
I cannot see anyone in front of my eyes now, I do not find an actress who looks like me or an extension of me in the generations that followed me despite my admiration for many actresses and their talent; but I do not believe that anyone resembles anyone, every actress has a nature and performance that cannot be repeated.
What about the critics?
I am very interested in any written opinions on my work, and I am interested in criticism even if it is not in my favour, provided that it is constructive criticism and not a personal insult.