23 July 2024 04:19 AM

Youssef Wahbi

Monday، 20 July 2009 - 12:00 AM

Youssef Wahbi was born on 14/7/1900 to an aristocratic family. His father, Abd Allah Pasha Wahbi, was an outstanding irrigation engineer in Egypt. When his father saw him acting he got very angry that Youssef Wahbi escaped to Italy where he worked for some time, then traveled to France with his colleagues Mokhtar Osman and Aziz Eid and joined its theatres. After his father’sdeath, Wahbi returned to Cairo and used the great fortune he inherited to establish a theatrical troupe named "Ramses", the Pharaonic name given to Youssef Wahbi during his stay in Europe. On May 10, 1923, the troupe premiered with a play called "AI Magnon", (The insane) which was highly welcomed. 

Youssef Wahbi was the first artist to establish an artistic city, Ramses Complex in Zamalek. It consisted of a large cinema studio, an amphitheatre, an open cinema, and a show theatre. He ridiculed, in his plays, many of the old customs and attacked colonialism. He was the first to call for delimiting agricultural land ownership, such as in "Ragol AI-Saa’a" (Man of the moment). 

On the social level, his theatre played a great role. He was the first to call for the abolition of the mandatory requirement for a married woman to live, against her will, with her husband at the house he chooses, commonly called "House of obedience" and the equality of man and woman in work and rights. Despite his long suffering from diseases, he continued his artistic career and fulfilled his ambitions for  50 years rich of achievements in fields of theatre and cinema. He performed more than 302 plays, of which 100 international, 60 written by him, about 185 plays, directed by him. In cinema, he acted about 50 films starting with "Zeinab", 1930 to "AI-Salkhana" (The Slaughterhouse) 1982. 

On October 17, 1982 Egypt bade farewell to Youssef Wahbi, the pioneer of the Egyptian theater.

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