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 – LXXXV. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – Entertainment (11 of 30)


Fatima Ahmad Kamal was born in Cairo in 1929. She is better known by her stage name, Shadia. It was given to her by Helmy Rafia, a movie director. While she is now retired for many years, she acted in many movies, both comedies and dramas.

Shadia is considered one of the most popular and talented amongst singers and actresses in the firmament of Arabic movies and the Arabic recording industry. Her songs and movies are still beloved by the present generation of Egyptians.

She married and divorced 3 times: Emad Hamdy, 1953 – 1956; Aziz Fathi, 1958; Salah Zulficar, 1967 – 1969.

She acted in 117 films, and produced more than 600 songs. She also had one stage experience, Raya Wa Sakina. (Raya Wa Sakina was to Egypt what Jack the Ripper was to England).

In the course of her professional life, she received several awards and trophies. Her movie, Mrs. X. Al Mara Al Maghoola (The Unknown Woman) was played in the U.S.S.R. theaters to great acclaim.

Her singing covered a large spectrum: From everyday life, to religious, to nationalistic, and on to love songs. She also sang the long-drawn songs Egyptians are so fond off. Finally, she has to her credit many children songs; and in those songs, she expressed her love of children and perhaps the pain of never having any of her own.

She experimented with movie production but proved unsuccessful.

Regardless of the character she played, Shadia was the sweetest person one could hope to see on the screen. Nonna Bida referred to her as soukara (a piece of sugar). And soukara she indeed was as a person.

All her life, Shadia was an example to behold. She encouraged new musicians by singing their compositions. She helped and deeply cared for other people, be they members of her family, fans, or fellow professionals.

After her retirement, she went to live in Saudi Arabia. And there, in the birthplace of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), she has dedicated her remaining days to worship and to enjoy a measure of peace far away from the limelight that for so long has been a part of her daily life.

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