Transsexual Actress Hanan Tawil Breaks Taboos, Finds Happiness

Published June 11th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Tareq used to feel that he was a stranger to the masculine world. Outwardly, he was a man, but his behavior and conduct were decidedly feminine. Finally, he decided to undergo an operation that would change him into a woman – the famous star Hanan Al Tawil.  

He traveled abroad for the operation and returned to Egypt to announce from the stage -- startling everybody, including his family and the audience -- that he had become a woman, according to the Saudi Al Riyadh daily. 

Tareq changed his name to Hanan Al Tawil, and began by playing a small role as a hairdresser in the film Abboud Alal Hodood (Abboud on the Borders), directed by Sharif Arafeh and starring Alaa Waley Eddin. The director noticed the talents of the growing star, and decided to make use of her talents in the film Al Nazer (Headmaster). 

Tawil moved from the cinema to the comedy theater, and then to the dramatic stage to take a role in the play Hakim Uyoon (Ophthalmologist) along with a number of the most prominent comedy stars in Egypt, including A’laa Waley Eddin, Ahmed Hilmi, Merriam Abdel Aziz, Monaliza and Maryam Nooh. Hanan performed the role of a young wife suffering from her husband’s negligence and inhumane treatment. 

In a recent interview, Tawil said that she was at the peak of happiness with her new world, indicating her indifference to criticism, particularly in view of her family’s acceptance of her transformation. She added that she was happy to work in the cinema industry and had no objection to performing seductive roles, provided that these were for the sake of art.  

“I have discovered more opportunities in the cinema than my counterparts, particularly with the help of the prominent director Sharif Arafeh, who knows how to make use of talented new stars very well,” added Tawil. 

Tawil said that show art had become everything in her life, particularly after seeing a number of films including Mawled Ya Dunia, starring Laila Ulwi, and Amirah Hubbi Ana, starring Suad Hosni. “I am ready to work full time…until the glory of Suad Hosni in this field comes back,” added Tawil. 

“My singing talent is no less than my show talent, particularly with my wide range and my success before the listening committees, after which I have become qualified to join of the Musical Profession Association, Tawil said - 

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