Ahmed Zaki, 1949-2005

afishnasser.jpgAhmed Zaki, the veteran Egyptian actor who played roles such as former presidents Nasser and Sadat, passed away today after a long battle with cancer. The Egyptian press had been on death watch for the past few weeks, including some rather tasteless coverage of his agony.

Zaki's last film, Maali Al Wazir (His Excellency the Minister), was a damning indictment of the Egyptian political system and its corruption (and corrupting influence.) You can see a full filmography here.

He was most recently working on a film called Haleem, a biographical epic on the great Egyptian singer of the 1960s, Abdel Haleem Hafez, which presumably will find another lead actor.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.