Pint-Size Artists Make Big Splash in Egyptian Films

Published September 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Egyptian cinema is witnessing a weird and riveting phenomenon: most young stars are short and tiny.  

Most of the new film stars in Egypt, including Mohammed Heneidi, Ahmed Adam, Hani Salameh, Ramez Jalal, Tareq Lutfi, Ahmed Zaher, Mohammed Najati, Ahmed Hilmi and others are characterized by having tiny physiques.  

This has resulted in the women's starring roles being limited to Hanan Turk, Muna Zaki, Rogina, Nelly Karim and others.  

These artists are also minute, with a light weight that suits the correspondingly scrawny actors. 

“It has become difficult for a tall actress to find a suitable role, which constitute a real problem,” artist Siham Jalal told the Egyptian daily Al Messa. 

Mervat Manji felt the same: “Thank God, the theater needs different specifications, and it is a field that has not yet been penetrated by the young actresses. The difference in height between the actors and actresses has become a real obstacle in the path of the tiny stars in the cinema. For example, Ghada Abdel Razzaq, Abeer Sabri and Wafaa Amer have not been given the opportunity to star in films, as they deserve. This has made many artists seek work on TV, because it is the only suitable place for a tall actress after the theater, as the TV has tall actors such as Mustafa Fahmi.” 

On the other hand, actor Yunes Shalabi said: “We should not take these matters with such sensitivity. I think each era has its own stars who prefer to work with each other. I, for example, worked with tall actresses including Wafaa Amer, Raghda, Afaf Shea’ib and others and nobody criticized this at all. In general, the cinema is something and the theater is something else. A short and very tiny actress in the cinema cannot be seen by a spectator in the last row or the balcony, for example.” –  

© 2001 Al Bawaba (

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