Sunday, March 27, 2005

Ahmad Zaki dies. He was the first Egyptian movie star who looked...Egyptian. Before him, Egyptian movie stars had to have some European blood in them to be considered worthy of the large (or small) screen. Ahmad Zaki was cast in his first major role in the movie Al-Karnak (starring Su'ad Husni) in 1972. The screenplay writer and producer made him sign the contract. Zaki was ecstatic. A few weeks later, he was fired. The producer explained that the powerful Lebanese distributor/producer, Husayn As-Sabbah (a friend of my late father) said that he was too "black" and too "ugly" and that audiences would not believe that the beautiful Su'ad Husni would fall in love with him. He was devastated. Now Lebanese upper class members want the truth behind his death. Right-wing opposition leaders in Lebanon blame Syria for his death. US calls on Syrian troops to leave...Egypt. Syrian president admits that "mistakes were made" in Ahmad Zaki's chest. UN investigators are searching for a suspicious white pick-up truck that injected Nicotine in Zaki's lungs. Bush attributed Zaki's successful movie career to his war in Iraq. "Without the bombings and killings in Iraq, Zaki would not have lasted in the tough Egyptian movie industry," he said.