Scenes of Iraqi children and civilians massacred leads Egyptian actors into severe depression
A case of sever depression has clouded over most Egyptian artists since the break of the US war on Iraq, especially the fact that civilians and children are the ones paying the price. Two actors who were among the most affected by the war were Kamal Al Shinawi and Hind Rustom.
According to the London based daily, Al Sharq Al Awsat, Kamal had changed the message on his answering machine, which previously included some music in it, to "The message does not include any music for the current situation is too unbearable we have seen enough of what is happening, when will we the Arabs ever Unite?" Kamal stressed that this was the only way he could find to express his anger and devastation with what is going on in Iraq, saying "How long will it take for Arabs to come together as one and stand up against the enemy?"
He added that the scenes aired on TV of children and civilians being slaughtered, have caused him to become ill come down with a sever cold all leading him into a case of depression. Kamal's depression and anger towards the war is similar to what most artists in the Arab world and abroad are feeling and experiencing.
Hind Rustom experienced a nervous breakdown when she watched actual live footage of Iraqi children after being hit with US missiles. The scene was too much for Hind to handle forcing her husband, Doctor Mohammad Fiad, to give her tranquilizers. Mohammad admitted that his wife is experiencing a sever case of depression as a result of the coverage on Iraq shown on all local and satellite channels. He added that Hind feels shame and guilt that we as Arabs simply sit and watch innocent children and people get massacred, lacking the gut to stand up to the enemy and face him as one.
On a similar note, Egyptian minister of Culture, Farouq Hassan, had decided to halt all cinema, concerts, festivals, and all entertainment activities due to the current war on Iraq and the turmoil that has hit the region. The minister has also requested that all Egyptian participations in international events be cancelled.
Head of the Egyptian actors association, Radi, has also called on world artists to come together and express their support towards war on Iraq and call for an end to the massacre of children. Radi has also announced that the International Film Festival which was to include actors from the US, France, Germany, and 18 Arab and African countries was also postponed in solidarity with the Iraqi people.
War has also paralyzed all activities of Egyptian singers and has caused a number of losses with all the cancellations of concerts and postponement of releases. All hotels and other sponsors have cancelled all scheduled performances by singers, saying that it is insensitive to hold any entertainment in such crucial times.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian democratic national party organized a march for peace consisting of over one million protestors from all over Egypt. The march, which featured a large number of actors, singers, political parties, businesses, and average citizens, was in support of Iraq and against a possible US attack.
Protestors wanted the Iraqi people to know they stand by their side and do not aid war on them or any other Arab nation. Solidarity with the Palestinian people was also expressed at the march, where actors like Egyptian comedian Adel Imam gave a speech expressing his full support for Iraq and Palestine and said that Egypt is with peace and not war. This view was shared among all those who took part in the march reflecting Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak’s stance.
Hind had previously turned down an offer of one million Egyptian pounds offer for the fifth time in a row by one of the Egyptian satellite channels to portray her life’s biography as a drama series. Hind was asked to submit a complete history of her past achievements and work experiences with prominent actors of the past like Farid Shawky, Faten Hamama, Yousif Shahin, Shurkri Sarhan, and Shadia. She was also requested to give information regarding her cinematic achievements and all aspects of her career.
Previously the legendary actress said that she would have loved to work in a television series before her resignation from acting. She explained, “I was offered many projects throughout the Arab world but I refused every one even though the production companies were ready to pay me any price I asked. However, I was never asked by Egyptian Television and what I wanted the most was to do something for my Egyptian fans.” – Albawaba.com
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)