Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – LXXXIII. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – Entertainment (9 of 30)

Leila Mourad

Her career was started with the help of Dawood Hosni who composed the first operetta in Arabic. In 1938, she starred in the movie “Yehia El Hob” (Long Live Love) with Mohammed Abdel Wahab. The movie was a success, and she never looked back.

In 1953, she was selected over Om Kalsoum as the official singer of the Egyptian revolution. And it is at this time that a rumor was circulated to the effect that she had visited Israel and donated money there.

Ultimately, no proof was ever found to support these allegations. To leave Egypt at the time and go directly to Israel would have been impossible since both nations were at war; to do so by traveling first to a European nation, and then go to Israel without attracting attention would have been very difficult. This absurd scenario eventually collapsed. Throughout that whole ordeal, she had Abdel Nasser support.

She was born in Cairo, in the Daher district in 1918. Her father, Ibrahim Zaki Mourad, was an Iraqi Jew and a famous hazzan (cantor), singer, and musician in the ’20s; her mother, Gamilah “Salmon” was a Polish Jew who presided over a family of 6 children.

In 1947, she married Anwar Wagdi (a well-known actor) and converted to Islam. They were married and divorced three times! Later she married Waguih Abaza; then after she divorced him, she married film director Fatin Abdel Wahab and gave him a son; they eventually divorced in 1969.

At the end of the ’50s, she gave up acting, and after 1973, she put an end to her singing career. She was a superb singer and a good actress.

Like other singers, she leaves behind hundred of songs to be enjoyed by the present generation of Egyptians, and many yet-unborn generations.

She acted in many movies with the likes of Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Youssef Wahbi.

Leila Mourad died in Cairo in 1995.

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