Samira Abdel Aziz, wife of Mahfouz Abdel Rahman, receiving her late husband’s honor award (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Culture)
CAIRO – 4 October 2017: In memory of the renowned playwright and author Mahfouz Abdel Rahman 40 days after he passed away, the National Theater held a memorial event honoring him on Tuesday.
A screening was displayed showing his life achievements and artistic contributions, featuring as well a collection of interviews that he gave over his life. A short documentary featuring Mahfouz’s path towards writing was also presented.
The event was the brainchild of his wife, actress Samira Abdel Aziz. The memorial was not meant to prolong the mourning, but to also gather artists in a cultural event in honor of Mahfouz.
Ministry of Culture Helmy Al Namnam and Samira Abdel Aziz (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Culture)
Abdel Aziz received the shield of the National Theater at the end of the memorial from Minister of Culture Helmy Al Namnam.
“He was my love, my husband, my friend, my teacher, my father and my son, and without him, I don’t know what to do,” she said emotionally.
The writer’s son, Bassem Mahfouz, also gave a speech at the memorial. He stated that his father lived for him and taught him the value of freedom. Culture Minister Helmy El Namnam also gave a few words praising Mahfouz’s special work and personality.
Samira Abdel Aziz speaking about her husband (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Culture)
The director of the National Theater, Youssef Ismail, adopted the idea by preparing a book that was given in the memorial called “Mahfouz in their Eyes”. The memorial also witnessed short speeches by Mahfouz’s friends, who spoke about their personal work experiences with him. They spoke about the writing legend’s scripts, scripts for series, and films that they described as holding a “distinguished style”.
Ali El Haggar dedicating a song to Mahfouz (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Culture)
The memorial was followed by a short, special song conducted by Egyptian singer Ali El Haggar dedicated to Mahfouz, and three short scenes of Mahfouz’s plays were performed on stage.