Salah zufakir and Shadia during a scene from the 1967 movie "Karamet Zawgaty” or My Wife’s Dignity Salah zufakir and Shadia during a scene from the 1967 movie "Karamet Zawgaty” or My Wife’s Dignity

Five groundbreaking roles by Shadia which inspired social change

Sat, Dec. 2, 2017
CAIRO –2 December 2017: As time passes, we never seize to be caught off guard by cinematic sweetheart and beauty Shadia. She gave us groundbreaking black and white movies that are prescient, even in the age of HD and 4D films.

Despite passing away on November 26, she is still a force to be reckoned with. Iconic Shadia, shattered and intentionally ignored long standing taboos, touching on cringe worthy topics, making her one of Egypt’s most beloved stars.

Because her films are screened repeatedly on TV, you may never realize her unprecedented impact and how ahead of her time she truly was.

Egypt Today highlights some of her groundbreaking roles, which caused a real buzz, managing to transcend time and discuss problematic issues that are still topics of debates today.

“Meraty Moudeer A’am” (My Wife is the General Manager) 1966

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Salah Zulfikar and Shadia in a scene from movie "Meraty Modeer A'aam" or My Wife is The General Manager, which hit screens back in 1966

A forward-thinking, savvy woman called Essmat pins her success on her career, managing to move up the ladder. Eventually the main character becomes her spouse’s boss and still able to keep a home-work-relationship equilibrium. The movie touches on how society looks down on women who professionally have an upper hand over their husbands.

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A squabble scene from movie "Meraty Modeer A'aam" or My Wife is The General Manager

The movie stars Salah Zulfikar, Tawfik el Dekn and was directed by Fatin abdel Wahab.

“Zoga Raqam 13” (Wife no.13) 1962
One of the greatest films on the topic of polygamy and its demeaning effect on women; the movie challenges society’s long-standing notion that men have the right to treat women like toys, whose dignity and rights are negligible and whose sole purpose is to meet the pleasure of men.

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A scene from the 1962 movie "Zoga Raqam 13" or Wife No.14, starring Shadia and Roushdy Abaza - A snapshot taken from a Youtube video

It tells the story of a well-off womanizer, played by Roshdy Abaza, who is always on the lookout for a beautiful woman to marry ephemerally. The movie was directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab and stared Shwikar along with several other notable female stars.

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A master scene from movie "Zoga Raqam 13" or Wife No.14, where ex wives of Kamal (Roshdy Abaza) get together and unexpectedly show up at his place

“Karamet Zawgaty” (My Wife’s Dignity) 1967
“If you cheat on me, I’ll cheat on you.” A striking phrase uttered by Shadia’s character, Laila. This was her condition in order to agree to marry her longtime stalker Mahmoud, played by Salah Zulfakir. The couple ended up leading a happy yet troubled married life.

Categorized as a light-comedy, “Karamet Zawgty” was directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab and stars Ragaa el Gedawy, George Sidhom, and Adel Imam. This is one movie that still enjoys a cult following.
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Salah zufakir and Shadia during a scene from the 1967 movie "Karamet Zawgaty” or My Wife’s Dignity

“She’ Min el Khouf” (An Ounce of Fear) 1969
Based on the novel by Tharwat Abaza, “She’ Min el Khouf” is placed amongst Egypt’s Greatest 100 Movies, according to IMBD. It portrays the controversial character of Atrees, played by the veteran actor Mahmoud Morsy, who follows his grandfather’s wishes and rules a village of poor with a heavy hand. Atrees falls in love with Fou’ada (Shadia), who lives in the village. He tries to marry her but she refuses due to his evil deeds.

Directed by Hussien Kamal, “She’ Min el Khouf”, which was produced by the great Naguib Mahfouz, never sells Shadia short.

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Villagers come out in droves to protest injustice befallen on them by their repressive rulers in the protest march scene from movie "She’ Min el Khouf” or An Ounce of Fear released in 1969

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Mahmoud Morsi and Shadia during a scene from "She’ Min el Khouf” or An Ounce of Fear

“Al Mar’aa Al-Maghoula” (The Anonymous Woman) 1960
The struggle of a woman who is being repressed by societal norms and the warped definition of what it means to have a good reputation, the film’s tactful depiction renders it a masterpiece. Shadia went out of her way to play the character of a weeping aged mother who was deprived of her child after mistakenly being caught in a house of prostitution.

“Al Mar’aa Al Maghoula” was best known for its emotional song, “Delight of My Eyes,” an everlasting classic. The song is timeless, showing the true affection a mother holds for her children. The movie was directed by Mahmoud Zulfikar and stars Emad Hamdy and Negma Ibrahim.

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Shadia and Shoukri Sarhan during a scene from Al Mar’aa Al-Maghoula” or The Anonymous Woman

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The mother Fatma played by Shadia swinging her baby in a scene from Al Mar’aa Al-Maghoula” or The Anonymous Woman which was screened in theaters in 1960
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