Cairo: Veteran Egyptian actress Majda, one of the most famous stars of the Egyptian cinema, died on Thursday in her home in Cairo, her family said. She was 88.
Born in May 1931 in the Egyptian Delta city of Tanta, Majda, whose real Name was Afaf Al Sabahi, launched a film career in the 1940s when she was still a teen.
Until her retirement in mid-1990s, she appeared in dozens of well-acclaimed classics teaming up with big names in the Egyptian cinema including Omar Sharif, Anwar Wagdi, Ahmad Ramzy, Esmail Yassin, Rushdi Abaza, Shukri Sarhan, Ahmad Mazhar and celebrated singer Farid Al Atrash.
Famous for playing the dreamy girl, Majda broke from the stereotype, playing other roles as a simple peasant, a war correspondent, a tour guide and a university lecturer.
Her fame further soared in 1958 when she portrayed Algeria’s freedom fighter Djamila Bouhired in a film named after her.
“’Djamila’ is one of my strongest works and earned me wide popularity,” Majda said in a 2010 interview with Egyptian state television Nile Cinema.
“The film was a great success. Whenever it was shown in any coun-try under occupation, it inspired street protests against the colonialists,” she remembered.
Majda’s last work was starring “I Forgot I’m a Woman”, a 1994 film in which her daughter Ghada acted.
Majda’s only marriage was in 1963 when she wed actor Ihab Nafae.
Their marriage crumbled years later. They had one daughter from that marriage: Ghada.
A funeral service will be held on Friday for the late actress at a mosque in the Cairo suburb of October 6 before her burial in the family’s cemetery, according to her daughter.