Google Doodle remembers a pioneer in Egyptian cinema, screenwriter and actress Bahiga Hafez (بهيجة حافظ) on her 112th birthday celebration on August 4, 2020.
Who was Bahiga Hafez?
Bahiga Hafez (بهيجة حافظ) was born on August 4, 1908, in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea. She was an Egyptian screenwriter, director, producer, composer, editor, and actress. Hafez was broadly known as an immense ability on camera as well as in the background and brought some of Egypt’s earliest feature movies to the big screen.
Bahiga Hafez started studying music in Cairo and later proceeded to study melodic composition in Paris, studying piano at the conservatory. Hafez could communicate in French, Arabic, and different languages. Hafez was a Pacha heiress. She earned a degree in music composition in Paris in 1930 and afterward came back to Egypt.
In the wake of coming back to Egypt, Bahiga Hafez lived in Cairo where she held literary salons. Also upon her arrival to Egypt, Hafez released an album entitled Bahiga that played on the radio broadcast of the time.
In 1930, Bahiga Hafez featured in the film Zeinab. This made her family exclude her, since working in cinema was viewed as disgraceful at that point, particularly for somebody of her social status.
Bahiga Hafez began her career in a movie as an actress, featuring in the silent movie Zeinab in 1930, directed by Mohamed Karim, which she additionally composed the score for. Hafez established the organization Fanar Films in 1932. With Fanar Films, Hafez co-directed the film al-Dahaya in 1932, called “The Victims” in English, in which she additionally played a significant role. She was likewise the costume designer, composer, and editor for the film. She remade the film 3 years after the fact with sound.
Bahiga Hafez worked as director, producer (with Fanar Films), co-screenwriter, composer, and lead actress. After not working in a movie for a long while, Hafez was asked by director Salah Abou Seif to star as one of the Princesses in his film el Qâhirah talâtîn (1966). This denoted Hafez’s arrival in the cinema, yet additionally her last appearance.
Bahiga Hafez proceeded to produce and coordinate various movies over the accompanying two decades and later established an influential cultural salon in Cairo to help the city’s artistic community. Her work helped make ready for the beginning of what is broadly viewed as Egyptian cinema’s golden age during the 1940s.
Unfortunately, quite a bit of her work as a movie producer has been lost and just the notices of her work remain. A copy of her film al-Dahaya was found in 1995. This appeared at the National Film Festival in Cairo, acquainting a new generation to Hafez’s work.
On August 4, 2020, Google Doodle, showed by Cairo-based visitor artist Mariam ElReweny, observes Bahiga Hafez’s 112th Birthday. She is delineated in the Google Doodle work of art wearing a costume inspired by the numerous opulent wardrobes she designed from this period of the film.