- Ahmed Shousha
- BBC – Cairo
Menna Shalaby became the first Egyptian and Arab actress to be nominated for an American Emmy Award, which is given for series and television programs, for a work of art in Arabic.
Shalaby was nominated for the Best Actress Award for her role in the series “Every Week on a Friday”, which was produced last year and consists of ten episodes.
Menna Shalaby commented on her nomination, saying: “My presence on the list of candidates is in itself a surprise and a source of happiness and pride, and if I do not receive the award, I am satisfied with the mere nomination.”
In an interview with the BBC, she added that the role she played was the most exhausting of her roles during the past five years, as she was looking for how to enter the mind of the girl who represented her character and turned into a serial killer.
The series “Every Week on a Friday”, which was shown on a digital platform, deals with the story of a girl who became a serial killer after she married a man who suffers from a mental disorder.
The American Emmy Awards were established more than 70 years ago by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and are dedicated to television work from series and programs.
The results of this year’s Emmy Awards will be announced on November 22 at a ceremony in New York State.
As soon as the news of Menna Shalaby’s nomination for the Emmy was published, many actors, directors and the public began to congratulate Shalaby for her nomination for the award through social media platforms.
“She’s good at talking with her eyes.”
Art critic Tariq El-Shennawy believes that Menna Shalaby is one of the most important stars of Arab cinema, especially in the last ten years.
Al-Shennawi explained to the BBC that “Shalaby is able to choose the best texts to represent them, and she is able to color, and is convincing in comedy and tragedy, and is skilled in speaking and expressing with her eyes.”
Menna Shalaby presented dozens of works of art for cinema and television, including “The Sweetest Times”, “Downtown Girls”, “The Morning and Evening Talk”, and “Why La: Part Two”.
Menna Shalaby also received a number of awards, the most recent of which was the Faten Hamama Award at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2019 for her overall work.
The series “Every Week on a Friday”, for which Shalaby was nominated for an Emmy Award, was not very popular when it was shown for the first time, as it was presented on a non-free digital platform in one of its new services.
Art critic, Mohamed Abdel Rahman, points out that the writing and directing elements of the series were impetus with creativity, attractiveness and honesty, in addition to the strength of the acting performance and great financial support.
Abdel Rahman adds to the BBC that Arabic works are not frequently nominated for these awards because they lack high-quality image and sound, as well as strong texts, especially those drawn from literary novels, as is the case with this series.
The series “Every Week on a Friday” is based on a novel by the Egyptian writer Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. This comes despite the decline in reliance on novels in cinematic and television stories over the past years, in contrast to what was common in Egypt in the middle of the last century.
Abdel Meguid believes that the problem lies in the fact that “writing for Arabic works is subject to severe censorship, in addition to the fact that most television platforms in Egypt have become monopolized.”
With one company in Egypt able to produce most of the cinematic and television artworks thanks to its ownership of most television platforms, the number of works produced annually decreased to less than half.
In an interview with the BBC, the Egyptian novelist demands that more artworks be shown that deal with diverse opinions on political, social and intellectual topics.