My friend Sami El Salamouny: A beautiful book about a wonderful creator


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My attachment to Sami al-Salamouni’s writings began with reading his weekly article in the radio magazine with great passion, and he was a guide for the films that we will watch. I met him once in the docking station in one of Al-Ahly’s matches. I was a student of “medicine” and he was “my good will.” I remembered him last month while talking to a dear friend about his beautiful movie, “Medina.”».

The book was issued by the accomplished cinematographer Saeed Al-Shimi by Dar Al-Hala for publication and distribution. I was honored to know the author when he was invited, in a telephone conversation, to chair the jury for the script award at the Sawiris Cultural Foundation, and I enjoyed reading the three parts of his book, “Letters of Muhammad Khan”. “Al-Shimi” talks about the activity of “Al-Salamoni”, who is a student in the Faculty of Arts, Department of Journalism, through his mutual friend William Daniel, and about his issuance of three wall magazines (Fajr – Cartoons – Football) with great activity. Then they bonded together at the Film Institute. “Al-Shimi” considers “Al-Salmoni” perhaps the most important film critic, in addition to many other talents. His critique of the Indian film “Butter Bhanshali”, directed by Satyajit Ray, who escaped with the Cannes Festival prize in 1954, is published in the Al-Masaa newspaper, which Abdel Fattah El-Gamal opened its door to. People around it.

Sami al-Salamuni was poor, so he supported his mother and siblings, in the village of Salamon al-cloth, from his simple salary in the Electricity Authority. Rajaa al-Naqqash was impressed with his writings, so he transferred it to work with him in Dar Al-Hilal, then Al-Radio Magazine.

“Al-Salmoni” lived in a poor room in an old house in a well-known neighborhood. He used to have his lunch in a small restaurant next to the Odeon cinema, run by an old Greek woman, and spent his time writing and thinking in the Izavish cafe in Tahrir Square..

The Film Association had a great impact on the life of “El-Salamouny” and a whole generation of filmmakers, as he watched distinguished films and published an important magazine, and “Al-Salmoni” was one of its most important writers. Then came the setback, which was a violent earthquake.

“Salmouni” made his first movie “Boredom”, while he was a student at the Film Institute in 1969, the film was shown in 1972, and he wrote criticizing himself: It is an ugly example because works in cinema are not always intentions, but there are no excuses in cinema. We have to make what we are convinced. With it and we are satisfied with it or we make nothing at all.

The “Salmoni” loved a girl, but she did not love him, and that was the source of his deep sadness.

Tharwat Okasha established the Experimental Film Center, headed by Shady Abdel Salam, to incubate young filmmakers. The project of “Al-Salmoni” graduation was the film “Medina” from this center, about a young man who came from deep in the desert to Medina..

In 1972, he attended the screening of a film by Abdel-Khaleq, “A Song on the Corridor,” at Cairo University, and wrote about “Al-Salamoni” enthusiastically, so he was prevented from writing. He chaired the Film Association from 1972 to 1977. “Al-Shimi” says that the negative impact of the Gulf on the quality of Egyptian cinema did not affect the enthusiasm of creative young directors such as Muhammad Khan, Atef Al-Tayeb, Dawood Abdel-Sayed, Khairy Bishara and others, and Sami Al-Salamouni was the mouthpiece of all of them..

“Al-Salamoni” did not compliment anyone, so he wrote about Saeed Al-Shimy, his best friend, for the movie “Al-Takhshiba” (1984). Photography was not at the level of previous works, especially in lighting up some interior scenes and in the relationship of faces to light that he did not perceive well.

He writes about the film “Tank Hunter Abdel Ati”, Al-Gendy Al-Falah, who destroyed 27 tanks, directed by Khairy Bishara. He writes an poignant writing full of art and patriotism. “Al-Salamouni” has directed six films, including “The Morning” about what happens when people wake up in Cairo. And also the movie “The Train”, which continued to be worked on from 1985 to 1989 due to approvals, preoccupations, and planning for train stations from Alexandria to behind the High Dam, passing through the Delta Train, which was passing through the villages, including his hometown, Salamon Al-Kash. Also the movie “Cowboy”, and his last movie was “The Moment”, about the moment of iftar in the month of Ramadan.

Al-Salamoni was a true critic. He criticized his colleagues on the jury of the Cairo Film Festival for their irregularity in attendance and lack of interest. He strongly criticized Mustafa Khalil, the prime minister, for canceling the Ministry of Culture, and specified the reasons gracefully and objectively. In 1983, he published his fourth book, “Cinema of the World at the Cairo Festival,” and wrote on the cover of the second issue of “Camera” magazine: “To Saeed Al-Shimy, the companion of glory, who will be achieved in the apricots.».

Suddenly his housing is rotting, and he has to leave the house, and he does not have anything. Suddenly, a reader who admires his writings comes to the magazine and says that he built a building in Nasr City and wants to rent an apartment to “Al-Salamouni”, with the normal rent, without a man being alone. “Al-Shimi” describes, in long details, how this apartment was a place for filmmakers to meet friends, and says: You used to see Souad Hosni cooking, Youssef Rizkallah roasting on the balcony, Muhammad Khan cutting the salad, and George Ishaq talking. This apartment witnessed wonderful days for a beautiful company, and when Saeed Al-Shimy asked him to read a screenplay for a film he contracted to produce, and filming will begin, the answer was that this is the ugliest scenario I have read in my life, because the writer has no idea about the script or the language.

In the last period, “El-Salmoni” became depressed, was not regular in taking medication, and died after a heart attack on July 25, 1991, and his loss was a great loss to Egyptian cinema. Greetings to the spirit of an artist who loves the country and is sincere with himself and with everyone.

Oh Egyptian, Egypt always call you..

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