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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Wahid Hamed Obituary

Mon 04 Jan 2021 | 09:00 PM
Ahmed Emam


Why do some screenwriter make it? Why do others fail? Is it possible that successful people in general share certain character traits? They probably do.

Although they may have different approaches, styles, skills, and interests, they have a lot in common, too. You name it; talent, passion, persistence, ambition.

For example, Wahid Hamed's story could be an effective role model for a prospective successful person. It can be applicable to anybody who has these qualities and has an idea of what his or her career will be.

Hamed, the Arab world-famous Egyptian screenwriter who died early this year, was born on 1 July 1944 in Sharqia Governorate, the countryside city considered the cradle of Eastern art and literature during the Middle Ages.

He moved to Cairo in 1963 where he started his college studies at Cairo University, in the field of Sociology and then he got married to Zeinab Sweidan with whom he had his son, Marwan the talented director.

Furthermore, Hamed established his writing career in the late 1960s after completing his university degree in sociology. The film "Ahlam Elfata Altayer" (Dreams of the Fly Boy) (1978) dubbed his long-time collaboration with iconic actor Adel Imam and is considered his advanced movie script.

Hamed was one of the most successful, rare Egyptian screenwriters, with over 40 films and 30 television series to his name.

Hamed is well-known for some of his seminal works, such as the Al-Ghoul (1983), El-Le’eb Maa El-Kobar (1991), Al-Baree’(1985), Toyour El-Zalam (1995), and the screenplay for the critically acclaimed ‘The Yacoubian Building’ (2006), which Hamed’s son, Marwan Hamed, directed.

Moreover, he is known for joint collaborations and associations with legendary Egyptian actresses like Yousra and Elham Shahin.

Yosra, 71, described Hamed as a "combination of kindness and strength" and said he was "The crown of my head ”.

He was the first Egyptian screenwriter to receive the Golden Pyramid Award for lifetime achievement in the cinema field in its new form, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the Egyptian government, in 2020, a quarter of a century after the prizes' s founding.

Earlier last year, Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) honored the legend Egyptian screenwriter Hamed at the opening ceremony of its 42nd edition, held in December, with the Golden Pyramid Award for Lifetime Achievement for a career that spanned over five decades.

Hamed’s works have won numerous awards in festivals locally and internationally. Two of his iconic films were picked for the acclaimed list of the best 100 Egyptian films in the 20th century; Sherif Arafa’s “Al-Laab Maa al-Kobar” (Playing with Giants, 1991) and Atef El-Tayeb’s “Al-Baree” (The Innocent, 1985). The list was based on a survey of Egyptian critics under the supervision of the late Saad Eddin Wahba, president of CIFF’s 20th edition.

''I am sure that Hamed was the first  Egyptian screenwriter, as far as I can remember, to attend such higher events like that'' says Mr. Mohamed Hefzy, CIFF’s current director. "Hamed had a sense of himself that he could fit in wherever he desired."


Hamid was The father of the modern classic approach in Egyptian movies and TV series. His death at 77 on 2 January 2020 was a sorrow that agitates the Arabic art world. Hamed died of a heart attack in El Sheik Zaied hospital, where he was being treated for bronchitis.


''As an Egyptian actor, I am in shock and distressed that another brilliant creative mind has passed away, especially a man on par with the best Arab writers in the world'', Ashraf Zaki, a Teaching Professor at The High Institute of Cinema, wrote on Facebook. '' What a loss for us!”

Hamed is a writer who consistently penetrates the boundaries of art writing and novels.

This single-minded purpose, and deep affection for art, turn up in the stories of most major artists. Hamed is definitely one of those who don't care if their art sells. He is rarely influenced by others' expectations because he followed his own instinct.


“His distinguished career and immeasurable contributions to Egyptian cinema will make the legendary scriptwriter Wahid Hamid alive despite his death.” Dina, a student at the High Institute of Cinema said.


Ultimately, Wahid Hamed taught our generation to understand that the role of the writer is not to be indolent. The role of the writer is to learn and reshape society and to ultimately make a great culture.