#WaraElCeema: Acting Legend Laila Eloui On Her Upcoming Movie, Sexual Harassment, and More

For this edition of #WaraElCeema, we have an exclusive interview with the acting legend, Laila Elwi! The beautiful superstar has starred in move than 70 movies and was honored by Egyptian and international festivals alike for her groundbreaking roles.

We got to discuss her upcoming movie “El Tareekh El Serry Le Kawthar”, people she misses working with, and her powerful and influential Instagram post tackling sexual harassment. Follow our hashtag #WaraElCeema for more exclusives from the film and TV industry!

Your role in “El Tareekh El Serry Le Kawthat” comes after years of absence, what is the reason behind it?

The role was offered to me in late 2017, and the reason behind this absence is that I’m very picky in what I choose in order to keep the standards high in what I present.

Talk to us about your role in the movie.

What I can say is that it’s new and different. I can’t wait to see the feedback of the people and I wish that they like it. The project tackles some important social issues that we’ve seen in our society lately.

When is the movie expected to be released?

Unfortunately, the release date isn’t confirmed yet.

You asked all girls not to let go of their rights in your latest Instagram post tackling sexual harassment. Can you talk to us about what inspired you to write it, and how do you think we can overcome this issue?
View this post on Instagram

"مفيش بنت ماتعرضتش للتحرش" جملة بتتردد كتير اليومين دول وسط الحوادث المؤسفة اللي بنعيشها وبنسمع عنها، جملة صادمة ومرعبة ومن المخيف إن الشواهد بتقول إنها حقيقة.. عشان كده لازم نقف عندها، وكل بنت وست تفكر وتقرر إنه مش من حق أي حد أيا كان إنه يخترق خصوصيتها ويقتحم مساحة هي ماسمحتش بيها، لا لفظًا ولا فعلًا ولا بأي شكل من الأشكال، لأن السماح بأي تجاوز غلط، وممكن يتطور لما هو أسوأ.. لما عملت فيلم المغتصبون سنة ١٩٨٩ المستوحى مع الأسف عن قصة حقيقية هزت المجتمع كله وقتها (قصة فتاة المعادي)، عشت التجربة القاسية دي من خلال الشخصية وحسيت بإحساس كل بنت اتعرضت لانتهاك بشع وكنت ومازلت مساندة لبطلة الفيلم "صفاء كامل" اللي قررت تاخد حقها وتعلن عن اللي اتعرضتله مهما كانت الظروف، ووقتها وصلت عقوبة المغتصبين للإعدام. ومن يومها ولحد النهارده ودلوقتي بالذات وأنا بدعو كل بنت اتعرضت لتحرش من أي نوع إنها تتكلم وترفض وتاخد حقها الكامل بالقانون.. علشان تقدر تكمل حياتها وعلشان تمنع الأذى عن بنات تانية ممكن يتعرضوا للي هي اتعرضتله. وأدعو كل بنت خايفة أو قلقانة أو مش عارفة الطريق الصحيح إنها تتواصل مع المجلس القومي للمرأة على رقم ١٥١١٥ وهتلاقي كل الدعم سواء نفسي أو قانوني أو استشارة تحتاجها من أي نوع. دمتن جميعًا بخير وفي أمان. @ncwegypt #ليلى_علوي #فيلم_المغتصبون #صفاء_كامل #لا_للتحرش

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I was following the latest movement against sexual harassment and cases that were taking place in the past few weeks. I looked back at what every girl and woman goes through on a daily basis, from online harassment or on the streets. And the girl always takes the blame and becomes afraid to take a stand fearing for her reputation.

I remember the case of the Maadi girl in the 80s whose case shook the public opinion and inspired us to produce “El Moghtaseboon”. I imagine what would have happened to other girls if this one didn’t stand up for her right and got those rapists convicted. Those rapists received the death sentence, which was the first time for a rapist in to receive this sentence in Egypt.

I encourage any girl who gets harassed to stand up for herself and use the law and the National Women’s Council who’ll provide full support for her.

Talk to us about the role of artists in raising awareness against sexual harassment and similar social issues.

Artists have a huge role in spreading and raising awareness of important societal issues like sexual harassment. Like the movie “El Moghtaseboon” in 1989, and the successful and influential movie “Oreed Halan” with acting legend, Faten Hamama, that later on helped to change the law in favor of women. I’d also be delighted to take part in any campaigns that would help in raising awareness on these topics.

Which artists do you miss working with?

Wahid Hamed, Sherif Arafa, and Yehia El Fakharany.

What roles do you wish for?

I’d love to do the role of a strong woman like Rose Al Yusuf.

WE SAID THIS: We can’t wait for the movie to come out!