CAIRO – 15 April 2019: Cairo Opera House's Cultural Salon will organize a seminar to honor late great actress and singer Shadia on April 17.
The seminar will be attended by Shadia’s relatives, Egyptian painter Nahed Shaker and Yasmine Shaker, as well as Egyptian journalist Khalil Zeidan and Egyptian artist Amin el Serafy.
Born in 1931 as Fatma Shaker, Shadia played various roles in movies of different genres. But in addition to her diverse roles, Shadia was also a prolific singer.
Shadia enriched the Egyptian music with about 114 songs over 37 years.
Moreover, 25 years after retiring and completely disappearing from the limelight, her song “Ya Habebty ya Masr” (Egypt, My Beloved) was the voice of the January 25 uprising in 2011.
She was dubbed "Dalouet El Cinema" (The Cinema’s Sweetheart) by her loyal fans from all over the Arab world. She was known for her melodious charm and light-heartedness.
Shadia started acting in 1947, at the age of 16, and was often cast in the role of a lively young girl. Then in 1953, she started to sing and to take on more dramatic roles, having just suffered the loss of her fiancé in the war.
Shadia’s marriage to actor Emad Hamdy, who was 20 years older than her, was a turning point in her career but the marriage only lasted for three years.
After her divorce from Hamdy, she married Fathi Aziz but also got divorced two years later. Her last and longest marriage was t to her on-screen love interest Salah Zulfaqqar. That marriage lasted six years but ended in divorce in 1967.
More than a talented show woman, Shadia managed to encapsulate just about every issue facing the Egyptian woman, from young love and jealousy to struggling between career and family, and all the way to women’s honor, poverty, prostitution, oppression and uprising against injustice.
One of her most iconic roles was Soheir, the famous actress who falls in love with an extra (played by Abdel Halim Hafez) in the romantic classic “Maaboudet El Gamahir” (The People’s Idol), which also features Fouad el Mohandes, Youssef Shaaban, Hassan Fayek and Zeinat Sedky.
After her last role in “La Tas’alni Man Ana” (Don’t Ask me Who I am), Shadia officially announced retiring in the late 1980s, turning the page of her artistic career and dedicating her life to worship and looking after her nephews and orphans, never having had children of her own.
Shadia told the media back then that she prefers that her fans remember her as the young woman they knew and doesn’t want them to see her old and wrinkled.
She has ever since remained true to that statement, having made very rare public appearances since her retirement.
Shadia starred alongside mega stars like Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid el Atrash and Kamal el Shennawy, with whom she co-starred in more than 30 films.
Shadia passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at the age of 86 after being transferred to the hospital as she suffered a brain stroke.