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Pioneer of theatrical writing and the first to write for Egyptian cinema. What you do not know about “Moliere of Arabia” Badi’ Khairi

The most prominent writers of Egyptian theater in the twentieth century, as he was the first to write for Egyptian cinema, whether silent or speaking. He lived a life full of art, and he did not leave any field of artistic creativity but excelled in it and left his own mark. He was a multi-talented creator since his early childhood. He is a poet, actor, author and screenwriter. That is why he was called “Moliere of the Arabs”, “the pioneer of playwriting” and “the sheikh of creators”. Badi’ Khairi, whose death anniversary falls on the first of February. On this occasion, we have collected for you some information and details that you may not know about the great writer.

His birth and upbringing

Badi’ Omar Khairy was born in the Maghribin neighborhood in the Darb al-Ahmar district of Cairo, on August 17, 1893. She has an Egyptian mother, the daughter of Sheikh Al-Laithi, one of the most famous merchants of Ghouria, and a Turkish father who emigrated from his town of Skudar in Turkey to Egypt and worked as an account manager for the mother of Khedive Abbas II.

He joined the writers and memorized the Noble Qur’an since his childhood, and joined the Higher School of Teachers, from which he graduated in 1914. He initially worked in the Egyptian Telephone Authority, and was translating English messages that came from England, as Egypt was under British occupation at that time. Then he worked as a teacher of geography and English. Badi’ was known for his love of reading since his childhood, which made him highly versed in the Arabic language. He even started writing at an early age, writing his first poem with us at the age of 13. His poems were published in many Egyptian newspapers at the time, under the pseudonym “Ibn al-Nil” he chose for himself.

His film career

Badi Khairy initially wanted to be an actor, so he auditioned for Zaki Tulaimat and George Abyad, but he did not succeed. He founded a group called “Al-Masry for Modern Acting”, and began writing plays based on Ahnabiyeh’s plays, the first of which was titled “Ama Hatta Wara”. Badi’ presented several operettas for the Munira al-Mahdiyya band, such as: “Al-Ghandoura, Qamar Al-Zaman, Houria Hanim, Al-Hilah”. He also presented with Ali Al-Kassar’s band “Who is among them, the ghoul, the inheritor”. Among his most famous plays are: “The world does not laugh, the dawa, the technical secretary, but five, a story every day, the old man when he breaks out, if you are sweet, the women do not know how to lie.”

Badi Khairy also wrote for silent cinema his first film, “The Mangban”, in 1918. He continued to write for cinema as it developed into a female speaker, so he wrote the talking movie “The Determination”, which is considered one of the most important Egyptian films, and was chosen to be ranked first in the list of the 100 best films in the history of Egyptian cinema.

What Badie wrote for the cinema amounted to nearly 100 films, including: The victory of youth, storm in the countryside, miserable people, lover of life, roses of love, her Excellency, Si Omar, lipstick, game of six, sapphire Effendi, Laila girl of the poor, Friday night, compliance, pet girls, 30 days in prison, generous family Malish Gherik, Halibo, Antar and Lelb, Hakam Qaraqosh, kidnapped my wife, April fools, women don’t know how to lie.”

Badi Khairy also wrote the script for the first Egyptian cartoon in the thirties, entitled “Mishmash Effendi”, which discussed issues of Egyptian society. International newspapers talked about him at the time as the Egyptian brother of Mickey Mouse, the most famous American cartoon character at the time.

Intellectual giftedness

Badi Khairy’s talent was not limited to writing for cinema and theater only, but also extended to songs. Among his most famous songs, which became one of the most important songs in the Egyptian artistic heritage: “Get up, Egyptian, oh Balah Zaghloul, stop this and listen to this, this sweet one. Salama, Salamah. Is this what happened?” He also wrote the most beautiful songs of Mohamed Fawzy, “Shahat Al-Gharam, Leah Asham, and you are beautiful.” He wrote to Laila Murad, “Abjad Hawz, my eyes are luxurious”, and for Asmahan, “You have the prayers and peace of God.”

In addition to that, Badi’ Khairy loved journalistic writing, so he published the magazine “Alf Snaf wa Saf” in 1925, “Al-Ghoul” magazine in 1926, “An-Nahar” newspaper in 1930, and “Al-Istiqlal” newspaper in 1937. All of them were closed due to his articles and poems criticizing the conditions of society.

List of the 100 best films in the history of Egyptian cinema

The list of the top 100 in the history of Egyptian cinema includes 4 films by the creative writer Badi’ Khairy, which are:

  • The movie “Good Will” starring Hussein Sedky and Fatima Rushdi. It was directed by Kamal Selim. It was produced in 1939. It ranks number 1 on the list.
  • The movie “Ghazl Al Banat” starring Najib Al-Rihani, Laila Murad, Anwar Wagdy, Suleiman Najib, Youssef Wehbe, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Farid Shawqi and Mahmoud El Meligy. It was directed by Anwar Wagdy. It was produced in 1949. It ranks number 9 on the list.
  • The movie “Salamah fi Khair”, starring Najib Al-Rihani, Hussein Riad, Rakia Ibrahim, and Stefan Rosti. It was directed by Niazi Mustafa. It was produced in 1937. It ranks number 76 on the list.
  • The movie “Si Omar” starring Najib Al-Rihani, Abdel-Fattah Al-Qasry, Mary Mounib and Mimi Shakib. It was directed by Niazi Mustafa. It was produced in 1941. It ranks number 81 on the list.

Badi Khairy, Najib Al-Rihani and Sayed Darwish Partnership

Badi’ Khairi and Al-Rihani met for the first time in 1918, when Badi’ was presenting his first play “Ama Hatta Trouble” at the “Agpsiana” theater, so that Najib Al-Rihani watched the play by chance and liked it and asked him to write to him, to begin their friendship on a personal level, along with cooperation and partnership on the technical level that extended For many years, during which they presented many musical performances, which were close to 120 plays, including: “As you like it, the Egyptian pound, the good ten, the English obligation, the navigator’s nights, the good boy, the good days”. In addition to films such as “His Excellency Kushkish Bey”, “Sapphire Effendi”, “Red Lips”, “Abu Helmous”, “Si Omar”, “Salamah Fi Khair”, “The Set Game”.  As for their last work together, it was the movie “Ghazal Al Banat”, after which Rihani died, to be mourned by Badi’s with a sad poem.

The artistic trio was completed after Badi’ and Al-Rihani got to know the third side, Sayed Darwish, after they watched his play “Fayrouz Shah”. The beginning of the trio’s cooperation was in the play “If”, followed by many plays, including: “Ish, rang, fashir, the good ten, Scheherazade, qulula, it’s all from this.” The trio became close, not only by virtue of the artwork that brought them together, but also by virtue of friendship and brotherhood. Before Sayed Darwish left our world on September 10, 1923, and Najib Al-Rihani passed away about 26 years later on June 8, 1949.

His Marriage

Badi Khairy married his cousin, a woman from outside the artistic community, and had three children from her, “Mubdi’, Nabil and Adel”. The latter became an actor, and one of his most famous works is the play “Except Five” written by his father, but his artistic career did not exceed 7 years due to his death as a young man before he reached the age of 33.

His Death

Badi Khairy was genetically affected by diabetes in his youth, which at the end of his life caused him to amputate some of his fingers, before he passed away on February 1, 1966, at the age of over 72.

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