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Najib Al-Rihani was the first to present “Raya and Sakina” 100 years ago.. Rare photos

The lead goes back to the great artist Najeeb Rihani And the great writer Badi’ Khairy presented the first work of art dealing with the issue of the two serial killers “Raya and Sakina”. The play was shown in February 1922, months after the execution of the four criminals, and the play enjoyed public success at the time.

That play was presented with the same title “Raya and Sakina” through the Rihani band and written by Najib Al-Rihani himself with the participation of Hussein Shafiq Al-Masry and directed by Naguib Al-Rihani and starring with him, Badia Mosabmy, Stephen Rosti, Hassan Fayek, Abdel Majid Zaki, and Najib Al-Rihani presented the role of the butcher Marzouk, and the actor was Hussein Ibrahim plays the role of Raya, and Badia Masabni appears in the role of one of the victims of the gang.

Al-Rihani presented that play after he was satisfied with the performance of the sarcastic character “Kashkish Bey” and decided to abandon the comedy to the bloody drama, but the audience did not believe Al-Rihani in the tragedy, as his performance made the audience drown in laughter, which forced him to return to the world of comedy.

In the memoirs of Al-Rihani himself, he said: In the year 1921, Egypt was terrified from one end to the other, following the discovery of criminal incidents in Alexandria, in which the country had no covenant before. He buried them under the walls.. The heroes of this gang were two women, Raya and Sakina, and the husband of one of them, whose name is Hassab Allah.. The discovery of these crimes was the talk of all people.. So I relied on quoting a topic from these bloody incidents and taking it out on stage.

Al-Rihani added, revealing funny details of the work: I prepared the novel “Raya and Sakina” and directed it at the Printania Theater, and its success exceeded all limits, as I could hear people wailing and crying with my ears… How many times did I hear some people calling out loud: “Increase, you killed us, people.” .

Pictures and some information are in the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Egyptian Theater by Dr. Amra Dawara, and this encyclopedia includes data for each show, which includes the name of the show, the producing group, the date of production and the names of all the creators participating in its presentation (author / director / decorator / composer or music composer / group of actors ), in addition to three photographs for each show. In the event that it was not possible to obtain photographs, especially during the early beginnings period (before 1915), the covers of some plays or the posters of some of the shows were used as advertising posters, or personal photos of the four stars participating in the show were used. The show’s championship, and sometimes after that – and in the narrowest limits – some cinematic images were used that recorded for us the features and works of some theater stars whose theatrical images we missed.


A rare scene from the play Raya and Sakina by Najib Al-Rihani and Badia Masabni

Najib Al-Rihani in the play Raya and Sakina
Najib Al-Rihani in the play Raya and Sakina

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