The Sixth Edition of SITFY Bears the Name of “Lady of Arab Theater

*The Sixth Edition of SITFY Bears the Name of “Lady of Arab Theater”* Mazen El-Gharabawy: Samiha Ayoub is a role model in creativity and one of the stars of Arab theater. Dr. Amr Dawara dedicated a book to Lady of Arab Theater… A symposium and signing ceremony are to be held during the festival’s events. The sixth edition of Sharm El-Sheikh International Theater Festival for Youth (SITFY), under the supervision of SITFY’s founder and chairman, Egyptian actor and director Mazen El-Gharabawy, bears the name of veteran Egyptian actress, Samiha Ayoub. The sixth edition is scheduled to take place between 4 and 11 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate. SITFY’s chairman, El-Gharabawy, states: “Samiha Ayoub was selected with the unanimity of SITFY’s Higher Committee, for she is one of the festival’s co-founders and its honorary president since the first edition. She is a role model in creativity and one of the stars of Arab theater; thus, she deserves to be honored”. Samiha Ayoub was born on March 8, 1932 in Shubra, Cairo. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in acting in 1953, among the graduates of the sixth batch. The beginning of her professional artistic career was during her studies through joining the “Egyptian Modern Theater” group, founded by artistic expert Zaki Talimat in 1950. Dr. Amr Dawara, author of the book dedicated to Samiha Ayoub, declares: Samiha Ayoub is an exceptional woman in Arab art, for she participated in more than four hundred and fifty works, including: 80 plays, 44 films, 220 series and television evenings and nearly one hundred and fifteen series and radio evenings. In theater, she had the opportunity to work with senior directors: Zaki Talimat, Youssef Wehbe, and Fattouh Nashati. Additionally, she worked with directing stars in the fifties and sixties: Abdelrahim Al-Zarqani, Nabil Al-Alfi, Hamdi Gaith, Nour Al-Demerdash, Saeed Abu Bakr, Kamal Yassin, Saad Ardash, Karam Mutawea, Galal Al-Sharqawi, Samir Al-Asfouri, Farouk Al-Demerdash, and Fahmi Al-Khouli. Dawara adds: during her career, she participated in four plays by foreign directors: Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” in 1963, by Russian director Leslie Planton, Bertolt Brecht’s “the Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1968, by German director Kurt Witt, Jean Racine’s “Phèdre” in 1975, by French director Jean-Pierre Larury, and William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” in 1977, by director Bernard Goss. Dawara mentions: she was honored to represent Egypt by presenting shows in foreign and Arab countries: France (Isis, Phèdre), Syria (Sekat Al-Salama, Ya Salam Sallem Al-Haitta Bettkalem, Al-Wazir Al-Asheq), Tunisia (Phèdre, Ma Agmalna, Al-Wazir Al-Asheq), Algeria (Al-Wazir Al-Asheq, Al-Shabaka, Al-Nas Elli Fel Talet), Morocco (Majnoun Laila), Sudan (Sekat Al-Salama), Kuwait (Al-Sultan Al-Haeer, Al-Nas Elli Fel Talet), the UAE (Al-Nas Elli Fel Talet), and Jordan (Al-Nas Elli Fel Talet). Furthermore, she participated in directing 5 plays: “Maqalib Attiyat” in 1972, “Lailat Al-Henna” in 2004, “Al-Mayet Al-Hay”, “Aqly Fel Masmat”, and “Rafidah”. She is the first woman in the Arab world to manage a state-owned theatrical group, as she took over the management of the “Modern Theater” group in 1973. Samiha Ayoub: she took over the management of the “National Theater” group twice; she was the first woman to hold this position during the period (1975 – 1982) and (1984 – 1988). In 1980, she established the “Egyptian Theatrical Club” which included a group of senior writers and artists and a large number of amateurs, and issued a specialized theatrical magazine. It was also honored to represent Egypt in some international festivals. Moreover, she was honored in local and international festivals: the sixth edition of Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater (1994), Egyptian Theater Day (1994), the first edition of the Arab Theater Festival, organized by the Egyptian Association for Theater Amateurs (2001), and the seventh edition of the National Festival of the Egyptian Theater (2014). In addition to this, she was honored by veteran Egyptian actor Mohammad Sobhi in 2021. She was the honorary president of the Arab Radio and TV Festival in 2010. She was honored in most Arab countries: International Festival of Carthage in Tunisia (1985), the fifth Algerian Forum for Cinema, Theater and Television (1999), the National Festival for Professional Theater in Algeria (2006), Jordanian Artists Association in the first edition of Tuqus Festival (2008), the Sultanate of Oman. She was appointed as head of the jury for the first edition of the International Festival (2005). She was chosen to deliver a speech on the Arab Theater Day, the first edition (2009). Furthermore, she received multiple medals and state awards: Order of the Republic from Leader/ Gamal Abdelnasser (1966), Bey Medal in Tunisia (1954), First Class Order of Merit from Syrian President/ Hafez Al-Assad (1972), Order of Merit of the Knight from French Presi

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