Thursday, May 10, 2007

Puppets and Puppeteers

Once again I find myself compelled to have a look on the ugly social scene we're witnessing nowadays. This time I'll be talking about art and artists. Call it "Modern Islamic Business Productions" if you want.

I wanna start off with the bizarre actresses who have suddenly chosen to resume their acting careers after they had denounced the job altogether and believed that quitting it was the only right thing to do. Some of them even went as far as announcing that the money they had earned from acting was dirty money, and they engaged into a sort of "money laundry", if I may call it so, by having businesses in Islamic clothing or merely restaurants. Now, they come back one after one to act again on TV series but with their hijab on!

I remember when the CD of Sohair AlBably (the famous Egyptian comedian) launched at the Cairo International Book Fair several years ago. Thousands were gathered in front of computer screens displaying the former actress as she talks about how devilish acting was, and how she was misled throughout her life. She claimed that nothing was better than the humble life away from fame and away from displeasing God (meaning through art). As if 7ad sharabha 7aga asfara 3alashan tmasel! Why can't these people have the courage to own what they did?

Out of nowhere, what was considered haram (blasphemous) yesterday is considered halal today. Just because their sheikhs had a change of heart (or so we're made to believe) they came back as if nothing was said or done. However, they made it clear that they're back with their own conditions. Those conditions had to do with the money of course, which should be good enough for a returning star, and then with the scenes they will act. They will keep wearing the hijab in all their scenes, even if they are domestic ones with members of the family. Ya3ni she will wake up with hijab, prepare breakfast for her family with hijab and talk to her husband with hijab. Ok, no problem as long as the drama producers don't care about the quality of art they're delivering. But what's really amazing, is that away from those scenes, you'll find a very normal T.V. series.

I remember the ridiculous series of Sohair Ramzy (an actress who was known for her seductive roles and lack of talent) with her clownish attire, which is supposed to be sharia outfit, talking to a semi-naked girl in one of her scenes. Is that the kind of art that her sheikh approved? As long as she is covered up, it is ok that people will look at the bodies of the actresses sharing the same scenes with her? I seriously can't figure it out! Please help me here.
I'm not against her hijab. I'm not against her coming back to act. I'm not against her sharing scenes with the flirty chick. But what has religion got to do with that? After all she is supposed to be a leader among this group of "purged actresses". Tayeb why do this?!

It is not a coincidence that all of those actresses had no talent whatsoever. They got their fame either from their hot movie scenes or from announcing that they will quit acting for religious reasons. (I don't understand why the media makes this huge propaganda whenever an actress decides to wear the hijab! It's a head scarf for God's sake! Everybody's free to dress the way they like.) Those actresses can not name even a single important role they had played during their whole careers. Their roles with hijab likewise have never added, nor will ever add, anything to art. They are just there for promoting the new look.

I must mention here that opposed to this group, there are wonderful actresses who chose to wear hijab without condemning their jobs or expressing shame of the roles they had acted. There are two excellent examples here: Shadya and Huda Sultan. After a lifelong brilliant acting and singing career, Egyptian star Shadya, had decided to quit and since then she had never spoken to the media or denounced her past career. Whereas, the late star Huda Sultan chose to resume her acting career with her hijab. In all her interviews she refused to be pushed into regretting her past roles. As a matter of fact, she didn't have any ridiculous conditions, and she actually acted some of best roles with the hijab. Her excellent performances in Al Wattad and Arabesque are a clear example. Until her death, Sultan resumed her career with dignity and dedication.

These women of real talent had nothing to be ashamed of cause what they offered was true art. I remember Shadya's song "Take my Hand" (7'od b2eedy) which was a religious song. The sincerity by which she sang it makes you feel she was out of this world, with her beautiful golden hair swaying by her face. Nobody saw anything wrong in it. On the contrary, it was considered one of the most beautiful and touching songs. Now, with fanaticism on the rise, and with the Islamic songs turning into a kind of fashion in modern Arabic music, I can't find a single song as touching as hers. I believe it isn't a coincidence. Using religion as a kind of marketing can never result in anything sincere, no matter how dazzling the outer appearance is. Religion needs a genuine spirit to shine through. But this wave of actresses and singers who are mere puppets in the hands of their puppeteers, whether they be sheikhs or business people, can never accomplish any lasting glory. They will have their time on the screen but time will sweep them as easily as they change their minds.


salama moussa said...

Wonderful article. Were you an artist critic walla eh?:) You left nothing to be said abt this issue. Bas 7a2ee2i I don't believe that this Suher Ramzi shows herself to public like that .. She can play great comic roles:)

Ma-3lina said...

one of the amazing articles i read for u.

I liked displaying the 2 sides of that subject , the good and the bad

even though i really respect sohier el bably coz unlike sohier ramzy she made excellent roles nd she is really talented but the disfigured her image by what she do even her last series was terrible.

why dont u write for magazines :)))
ur a gr88 critic u notice many things nd comment in a lovely way on it

u can build ur career from home by sending articles to magazines nd stuff

GO on we salmili 3la LUJI

Om Luji said...

Thanks a lot for your sweet compliment :) Actually, I've written many critical reviews in the past, but never thought of publishing them. Your encouragement is truely appreciated.
If you wanna have a good laugh try searching for Suhair Ramzy's pics on google images, you'll find loads of more hilarious looks :)

Om Luji said...

Rabenna y7'aleeky leya. You're an amazingly nice person begad. Your words of admiration and encouragement made my day :)
I'm blessed to have good feedback from readers who have wonderful blogs of their own. What more can I ask for?
I agree with you about Suheir Al Bably. She used to be a very unique comedian. I wish she never returned to the screen though, cause I felt as if she has completely lost her talent. So, aside from anything else, from a purely artistic perspective, her performance in 2alb 7abeeba deserved a big zero :(