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Arts & Entertainment

Nogoum FM commemorates 35 death anniversary of Youssef Wahbi

Monday 16/October/2017 - 04:36 PM
Sada El Balad
Sada ElBalad-Yara Sameh

Nogoum FM radio station will commemorate on Tuesday the 35th death anniversary of the theater legend actor Youssef Wahbi، in a special episode through a rare radio interview with the late radio announcer Wajdi al-Hakim.

The episode will be broadcasted on air at 4:00 PM (Cairo local time).

Noteworthy، Youssef Wahbi was born on July 14، 1898. He was an Egyptian stage and film actor and director، a leading star of the 1930s and 1940s and one of the most prominent Egyptian stage actors of any era، who also served on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. 

Youssef Wahbi was born into an Egyptian family of Turkish origin، but renounced his family's wealth and traveled to Rome in the 1920s to study theatre. 

In 1926 the Turkish-Egyptian filmmaker Vedat Örfi Bengü approached Wahbi to play the role of the Prophet Muhammed in a film which would be financed by the Turkish government and a German producer. Whilst the President of Turkey، Mustafa Kemal Atatürk، and the Istanbul council of ulamas gave their approval to the film، the Islamic Al-Azhar University in Cairo published a juridical decision stipulating that Islam forbids the representation of the prophet and his companions. Thereafter، King Fouad warned Whabi that he would be exiled and stripped of his Egyptian citizenship if he took part in the film. Consequently، the film was later abandoned.

Wahbi started acting in the Golden Age of the Egyptian Cinema from 1932 till he died in Cairo، Egypt at the age of 84، in 1982. 

Mr. Youssef Wahby has also starred in several plays which he translated into many languages due to his fluency in English، French، and Italian، along with his native Arabic tongue. He played many roles that were different and unusual for both Egyptian film and plays. 

He once played the Devil and he، later on، wanted to play Muhammad but the media and Al-Azhar University، the authoritative institution on Sunni Islam، were opposed to the idea and he was forbidden from going through with it.

He is one of the most respected and beloved artists of all time in the Cinema of Egypt and several French and English companies tried to save his movies by reissuing them again.

Besides his stage work، he acted in about 50 films، starting with Awlad al-Zawat (Sons of Aristocrats; 1932) to "Iskanderiya... lih?" (Alexandria... Why?، 1978). 

On October 17، 1982، He died، sick with arthritis and with a fractured pelvis، survived by his wife.

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