By Hosting Nour Al Sherif and Jamal Sulaiman
UAE-Sharjah-Sharjah Media Centre: July 30, 2013 – In its last session, Sharjah Media Centre's Ramadan Majlis hosted on Sunday 28th, Arabic drama stars such as the Egyptian actor Nour Al Sherif and the Syrian actor Jamal Sulaiman. The session was moderated by the renowned Lebanese media personality Zahi Wehbe.
The session, held at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre; Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre; Marwan Al Serkal, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Abu Arab, Palestinian artist and poet; Ahmad Al Jasmi, Emirati actor; Maher Salibi, artist, and Perween Habib, media personality.
Nour Al Sherif said that he believes Egyptian drama has relapsed during the past decade, attributing this situation partly to the prevailing political dynamics and unrests in the country which in turn had their effect on drama productions. He added that in the present times there is a lack of role models to actors, or a desire to have an intellectual belonging. This results from the whole world leaning towards a free economic system and the attraction of investments, which he considers an art for smuggling money, allowing others control over political decisions.
Jamal Sulaiman interprets his observations as there is confusion in the Arab world regarding the role of television, which was at first both a tool of entertainment and enlightenment, creating a revolutionary change in Egypt and Syria. Seeing it from the current perspective there is a conflict between the entertaining and the valuable. He also highlighted that the drama showed during the holy month Ramadan leans more towards what is only entertaining and therefore undermining valuable productions.
Nour Al Sherif expressed that he opposes the involvement of actors in politics, unless they have a real stance towards it. He said that he refused to join any political party to preserve his freedom and personal principles because being a member in a party means that he will have to commit to its ideology and decisions even if he opposed them and it would affect his important role as an actor.
Jamal Slaiman stated that he believes an artist should not involve himself in politics, but instead should uphold his patriotic responsibilities. He views the winds of globalization as inevitable, emphasizing that at the same time people should be heedful towards the fact that globalization is based on sharing and not receiving from one side only, and therefore more effort should be placed on producing work which serves Islamic and Arabic affairs to instigate change.
In the end of the session, both actors agreed that drama productions focusing on Arab affairs should be postponed for now, due to the ambiguity of the situation which may need long years to become clear.