Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Kamal El Shenawi Has Died After Battling Illness


Translated By Priscilla Adum





Kamal el-Shenawi passed away August 22, 2011 in Cairo. Yet another Golden Era legend, now gone. He starred in many films during his career which spanned more than six decades and he worked with such famous artists as Samia Gamal, Ismael Yassin, actress/dancer Hagar Hamdi who was also his wife in real life, and even Hosni Mubarak. (Yes, Hosni Mubarak, the ex-President of Egypt was also an actor). This article from EgyNews talks about his passing.

The original article in Arabic was retrieved August 22, 2011, and appeared at:

Kamal el-Shennawi



Kamal El Shenawi Has Died After Battling Illness

The great artist Kamal El Shenawi died at age 89 after a long battle with illness, closing the final chapter in the phenomenon of the acting star who maintained his bright artistic presence onscreen for 62 years. He held more than 200 roles in cinema and in television.

The actor's funeral was held after the noon prayers at Moustafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandeseen. The artist's son, director Mohamed Kamal el Shenawi and Union leader Ashraf Abd el Ghafour led the funeral procession along with a number of members of the Actor's Union.

In a statement to The Middle Eastern News Agency, Ashraf Abd El Ghafour said: "The Acting Community lost a great star who managed to adjust to the age of every character he played and he was always eager to work despite his illness. He loved his work and was devoted to it and was keen to add quality work to his film repertoire." He pointed out that the late Kamal Shenawy fought against and resisted his illness in his old age. He loved life and he was joyful, and this is how people usually saw him.

Kamal el-Shennawi

About His Life

Mohamed Kamal El Shenawi was born December 26, 1922 in El Mansoura. He lived his early years in the El Saiida Zeinab district of Cairo and graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Helwan University. He then joined the Arabic Music Institute and he worked as a drawing instructor. His first film was Ghani Harb in 1948. That same year he also appeared in the films Hamamet Salam (Doves of Peace) and 3adalet el Samaa (Justice of Heaven). In 1965 he directed the film Tanablet el Sultan which was the only film he ever directed.

The late artist Kamal El Shenawi played many roles throughout his lifetime. They ranged from good to evil, drama and comedy. He sat on the throne of stardom in Egyptian cinema starting in the late forties. He continued as a super star throughout the 1950s. He was a teacher in the 1960s because of his many and diverse roles and rich performances. He was respected because of his constant self renewal and the richness of his characters, and in the roles of wise men in the 1970s, without giving up leading roles in other films. He continued his work, to which he dedicated himself entirely with creativity, spontaneity and responsibility. The late artist's roles included many of the successful duos which left a lot of memorable work, such as with Ismael Yassin and with the Lady of The Arabic Screen Faten Hamama and with retired actress Shadia. His participation in the film Zaza in 2006 was his final role.

Kamal el-Shennawi

Career Highlights

Among the most famous films in which Kamal El Shenawy had a starring role were:

  • Wada3 Fi El Fagr (A Farewell At Dawn)
  • Qeloub el 3azara (The Hearts of Virgins)
  • Men Gher Amal (Hopeless)
  • Banat el Lael (Girls of The Night)
  • El Wade3a (The Deposit)
  • Ben Qalben (Between Two Hearts)
  • Boshret Khair (The Skin Is Good)
  • Arham Hobi (Have Mercy On My Love)
  • Gharam Milioner (The Millionaire's Romance)
  • M3an Ela El Abad (Together Forever)
  • Entesar el Hob (The Victory of Love)
  • El Ard El Tayiba (The Good Earth)
  • Leylet El Henna (Henna Night)
  • El Ostaza Fatma (Fatma the Teacher)
  • El Karnak (Karnak)
  • Qualel El Bakht (Unlucky Guy)
  • Hayate Enta (You Are My Life)
  • Sa3a Le Qualbak (One Hour for Your Heart)
  • Hamamet El Salam (The Dove of Peace)
  • El Roh wi El Gasad (Body and Soul)
  • Al Hareb (A Fugitive)
  • El Maraa El Maghoula (Anonymous Woman)
  • 3ashet Lel Hob (She Lived For Love)
  • El 3asheka (The Lover)
  • Lawa7ez
  • El Ragol Alazi Fakada Zaleoh (The Man Who Lost His Shadow)
  • El Moustahel (The Impossible)

As well as other films which comprise the history of the evolution of Egyptian and Arab cinema.

Shennawi won many awards and honors throughout his life, such as the Honorary Award from the Catholic Center's Festival in 1960 and the Award for Excellent Acting from the Motion Picture Association Festival in 1992.



About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 




Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.



Explore more belly dance info:

Top >
Belly Dancing >
Index to Middle Eastern Culture Section


Share this page!

On Facebook


 Top > Belly Dancing >

| Contact Shira | Links | Search this Site |