Naguib EL-RIHANI - نجيب ال

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Naguib EL-RIHANI - نجيب ال


Naguib el-Rihani est né le 21 Janvier 1889 à Bab El Shereya (Le Caire, Egypte).
Acteur égyptien. Son père était un Irakien qui a épousé une Cairote (la mère de Naguib, ce dernier a deux autres frères) ; ses parents étaient chrétiens. Il a étudié à l'école française du Caire, Les trois frères.
Appelé "le Père de la Comédie" en Egypte, il décède le 08 Juin 1949 à l'âge de 60 ans au Cairo, du typhus, alors qu'il tournait le film Ghazal Al Banat


Naguib el-Rihani (Arabic: نجيب الريحاني‎; 21 January 1889 - 8 June 1949) was an Egyptian actor. Born in Bab El Shereya, Cairo, Egypt to an Iraqi ethnic Assyrian father by the name of "Elias El Rihani" who was a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church and worked as a horse expert and trader who eventually settled in Cairo where he met and eventually married Naquib's mother a Coptic Christian lady from Cairo, (he was one of three sons). He was educated in the French school "Les Freres", in Cairo.
He had a turbulent marriage, with Badeaa Masabny, a Turkish-origined actress / dancer, who settled in Cairo, and established her famous cabaret, "Casino Badeaa", and separated before his death. He died at the age of 60 years old in Cairo, of Typhus, while filming his last film "Ghazal Al Banat".
He established his own theatrical group in the late 1910s, in Cairo, and partnered his long-life friend Badeih Khairy, in adapting several French theatre hits, to the Egyptian Theatre, and later to the Cinema.
A great comedian both on stage and in films, he is considered "The Father of Comedy" in Egypt. Fuad Al Mohandes, the great Egyptian comedian of modern times, always acknowledged Naguib Al Rihani's effect on him and his style in acting.

List of plays

Taaleeli Ya Bata 
El Rial 1917.
Kesh Kesh Bey Fee Paris.
Homar We Halawa.
Ala Keifak (As You Like)
El Ashra El Tayeba 1920, music by Sayed Darwish.
Ayam El Ezz (Times of Prosperity).
Lawe Kont Malik (If I Was A King).
Mamlaket El Hob.
El Guineh El Masry (Egyptian Pound) 1931, adapted from Topaze by Marcel Pagnol
El Donia Lama Tedhak (When Luck Smiles) 1934.
Hokm Karakosh (Rule of Karakosh) 1936.
Kismiti (My Luck) 1936.
Lawe Kont Heleiwa (If I Was Handsome) 1938.
El Dalouah (The Spoiled Girl) 1939.
30 Yom Fee El Segn (30 Days In Prison)
El Setat Ma Yearfoush Yekdebo (Women Never Lie)
Ela Khamsa - إلا خمسة (Minus Five)1943.
Hassan, Morcos & Cohen 1945.


Saheb Al Saada KeshKesh Beh 1931.
Yacout 1934, adapted from "El Guineh El Masry".
Besalamtoh Ayez Yetgawwez 1936.
Salamah Fe Kheer 1937.
Abou Halmoos 1941.
Leabet Al Set 1941.
Si Omar 1941, adapted from "Lawe Kont Heleiwa".
Ahmar Shafayef
Ghazal Al Banat 1949.Naguib El Rihani

The Great Theatre and Cinema actor Naguib El Rihani was and still being known as "KeshKesh Beik", the name of the character he created from his own imagination and brought it to be live and real.

Naguib El Rihani was also known as "Charlie Chaplin, the East"; according to several critics Naguib El Rihani and Charlie Chaplin had several things in common among which is their difficult beginnings, their points of view and the main themes they chose for their artistic work.
Both, El Rihani and Chaplin, chose to deal with the psychological insight of the poor class against the unjust aristocratic class, making fun of aristocracy in a sarcastic way.

There's a debate among several sources about the roots of Al Rihani Family, some would say it's from Iraq others say from Lebanon but regardless of his native origins, Naguib Al Rihani was born, raised and died in Egypt, for us he is Egyptian flesh and blood.

Naguib Ilyas Al Rihani was born in 1890 in Bab El Shaa'ria area in Cairo/Egypt, he studied in the Frare French School until the age of 15; his father worked in horse trading and when he died due to a financial crisis, Naguib had to leave school and start working to earn money for his family that consisted of his mother and two brothers.

In his quest for a job, he worked in the Agriculture Bank in Cairo and later on in the Sugar Company in Nagaa Hamady region, yet he could not give up his dream of becoming an actor and this was the main reason behind being fired from those two jobs.

In the beginning Naguib's mother, Mrs. Latifa, was against the idea of her son becoming an actor, or what they called in old times "Meshakhasati" or Imitator, but later on, when his fame grew to the top, she was very proud for being the mother of "Keshkesh Beik".

It is surprising to know that Naguib El Rihani always wished to become a super tragedian and that becoming a comedian was never on his plan, but fortunately he was successful in both tragedy and comedy.

His comic skills were first discovered by his fellow friend, the great director and actor Aziz Eid who saw that Naguib's comic skills were dominant to his tragic ones and he tried to help him in this path but Naguib was more interested in tragedy.

Naguib El Rihani played a great role in the development of Egyptian theater at a time when theaters were presenting comic sketches that were very silly using meaningless words and actors as dummies doing ridiculous movements just to arouse the laughter of the audience but Naguib El Rihani had different ethical and valuable visions.

Beside his natural gift, Naguib Al Rihani gained a lot of experience from working with different famous artistic troupes at that time, between the years 1905 till 1916 such as:
- Okasha's Troupe / Seleem Attalla's Troupe / El Sheikh Ahmed El Shamy's Troupe
- George Abyad's Troupe (which, later on, merged with Salam Hegazy's Troupe to form a news troupe called Abyad &Hegazy'sTroupe).

Naguib Al Rihani was fired from George Abyad's Troupe as the latter saw him a bad actor, but years later George Abyad was convinced that Naguib El Rihani was gifted.

The real beginning for Naguib Al Rihani was in 1916 when he joined the famous actor, Stefan Rosty, to work in "De Rose" Casino.

Due to his great efforts, theatres started acquiring deeper aspects; El Rihani gave great attention to the ideas presented in his plays, the dialogue and the characters; dummy comic characters were replaced by more elevated realistic ones and he was able to develop his comic techniques.

He was positively reacting with the political and social changes that took place in Egypt at that time as the national spirit was newly introduced to Egyptian theatres.

Later on, in 1918, El Rihani started a new type of theatre which is the Musical Theatre or what is called the "Operette" in which he co-operated with the famous musician Sayed Darweesh as well as the famous actor and writer Badie Khairy, and together they presented several successful musical plays or "Operettes".

He toured with his own artistic troupe "Al Rihani Troupe" to different countries to present his work such as South America, Lebanon and Syria. In the final stage of his artistic life, Naguib El Rihani starred and wrote several successful movies that are considered of the greatest movies of the Egyptian cinema with famous singers and actors, such as Laila Mourad, Aziz Osman, Anwar Wagdy, Abdul Fattah El Kosary, Youssef Wahby, Hassan Fayek, Taheya Karyouka, Bishara Wakeem and many others.

In all his plays and movies, Naguib El Rihani was always targeting the amusement of the Egyptian poor class and always insisted to adopt his topics, especially those translated from French and English, with the Egyptian environment so that his target class can easily understand and react with his work.

Finally in 1949, Egypt lost the great star Naguib Al Rihani who, in spite of his death, will always be in our minds and hearts and will always be able to make us laugh from the heart.

The way Naguib El Rihani makes us laugh each time we watch his movies and plays can never reflect the hard times he passed through in his life ever since he was a child, but when you know his life story you can easily see the scares and reflections of those hard times on his face and eyes.


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