Attending this 12 months’s El Gouna Movie Pageant was celebrated Egyptian actress & ladies’s rights activist, Menna Shalaby.

Finest-known for her award-winning function within the movie ‘Nawara’, the 38-year-old participated in an all-female panel dialogue, titled, ‘Girls’s Empowerment Via Cinema’, throughout the fourth version of the pageant.

Shalaby’s fellow panellists included Indian actress Richa Chadha, American-Palestinian filmmaker Najwa Najjar, French-Egyptian writer-director Jihan El Tahri, plus French-Algerian journalist and director, Dorothee Myriam Kellou.

Along with discussing their forays into the filmmaking business, the ladies touched upon the glass ceiling & unequal gender alternatives within the aggressive subject.

Empowering voices

In a bid to amplify the voices of younger feminine filmmakers and fast-track their expertise, throughout the El Gouna Movie Pageant, Shalaby inspired aspirational writers and administrators to electronic mail her scripts straight.

The actress confirmed through her Facebook web page that candidates within the initiative ought to attain out to her on

The mentor believes the advantages will probably be mutual.

“I can provide [women] the chance to do one thing,” she informed Euronews. “And it is vice versa. She is going to give me a possibility to do a unique function. So, if we discover a good state of affairs or a great filmmaker, we’ll make one thing.”

The actress went on to say that ladies within the film enterprise battle professionally greater than males, because of unrealistically excessive expectations positioned upon them.

Deconstructing stereotypes

When questioned in regards to the stereotypical portrayal of Arab ladies, in each Western and Center Jap movies, Shalaby stated it’s as much as the person to make a change.

“Our job is to create personalities,” she informed Euronews’ Daleen Hassan. “So, it is all about creativity, as a result of most girls themselves have develop into stereotypes of themselves and of their international locations. It does not assist your mentality to develop. It does not assist your imaginative and prescient.”

Shalaby passionately known as for extra on-screen feminine variety and relatable characters inside Arab cinema.

“We all the time characterize a lady like she’s being humiliated and she or he has a troublesome time. We are able to do this, but in addition, we are able to act like cheerful ladies, like in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’,” she stated. “[Bridget is] a lady struggling, however otherwise. You do not suppose that we have now this within the Arab world? Now we have.”

Robust stance

As an outspoken supporter of people who’ve encountered sexual harassment, Shalaby says that non-public house & privateness are fundamental human rights, not solely feminine rights.

“I can’t settle for somebody touching me, [not] even a woman,” she said. “So, what we miss right here is the human rights, for men and women. As a result of there may be a whole lot of harassment for males.”

The actress went on to precise her craving for better freedom of artistic and social speech within the Center East and North Africa area.

Arguing that some individuals nonetheless maintain conservative, non-progressive views about ladies talking up about inappropriate behaviour in the direction of them.

“Once you choose me, it is your persona, it’s your mentality – not me,” stated Shalaby. “We’re victims within the Arab world, as a result of we can’t converse. We have been judged, even after we are the victims.”


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