Today’s Google Doodle honored the iconic Egyptian actress Karima Mokhtar, widely referred to as the “Mother of Egyptian Cinema,” on her 89th birthday. Mokhtar portrayed a variety of characters in theatre, film, and television drama. To commemorate her birthday in the Mena region, which is on Jan. 16, a drawing of Mokhtar with a television set in the backdrop was used to remember her unprecedented roles. Google’s doodle description read “Leaving behind a legacy of strong and sympathetic performances, Mokhtar helped revolutionize the Egyptian film industry and paved the way for future generations of actresses.”
She was born in Sahel Selim in 1934, and before pursuing a career in film, she earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre. Her career took off when she started hosting the children’s radio show Baba Sharou. This is because her parents disapproved of film acting, and thus, she remained on the radio for some time. That changed, however, after she married actor and director, Noor Al Demerdash, who encouraged her acting goals and assisted her in landing her first breakthrough role.
That role was in the 1963’s Thaman El-Horeya (The Price of Freedom). Then her critically acclaimed performance as Zeinab in the 1974 film El-Hafeed (The Grandson) was another success on the big screen. With the late Nour El-Sharif and Mervat Amin, she played a young mother of seven kids in this role where it became evident that her skill was to portray “motherly” characters, for which she quickly gained fame, exceeded that of any other actresses at that time.
She played one of her most well-known parts later in her career in the beloved Egyptian drama Yetraba Fi Ezo. The moving role of Mama Nona, where her death scene is still talked about to this day due to how moving it was, viewers thought Mokhtar had really passed away. After that, she passed away in Jan. 2017, leaving behind a legacy of powerful and heartfelt performances that the region continues to cherish today.
Google’s search engine frequently honors well-known people in the Mena region. For instance, Google honored Egyptian author, Ihsan Abdel Quddous this month, one year after the publication of the first English translation of his well-known book “I Do Not Sleep.” Then in Dec., on the occasion of his 83rd birthday, it was Kuwaiti actor, singer, dramatist, and comedian Abdulhussain Abdulredha.