Khaled Abol Naga

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Khaled Abol Naga
Khaled Abol Naga.jpg
Khaled Abol Naga at Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2009
Born Khaled Mohammed Sami Abol Naga
(1971-11-02) November 2, 1971 (age 44)
Cairo, Egypt
Occupation Actor
Years active 2000–present

Khaled Mohammed Sami Abol Naga (Arabic: خالد محمد سامي أبو النجا‎‎, IPA: [ˈxæːled æbonˈnæɡæ], born 2 November 1971) is an Egyptian actor, television host, producer and director. He is also a human and child rights activist and has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since his appointment in 2007. He has worked across a variety of media, including theatre, radio, television and film.

Early years[edit]

Khaled Naga was born in 1971 in Cairo, Egypt. He is the younger brother of American based Egyptian architect Tarek Naga.

During his childhood, Khaled Abol Naga spent a lot of time with his elder brother, Tarek, whom he quoted many times as having a major influence on his character growing up. -- Khaled was naturally interested in acting at an early age; and appeared in a film at the age of 11. He grew up in Heliopolis where he attended St. George's College school for his primary education, followed by Ain Shams University and the American University in Cairo. He studied Computer Science with minors in Theatre and Drama at AUC. He later graduated with a degree in telecommunication engineering from Ain Shams University. While in England he worked on satellite design (1990-2). He played water polo for his varsity team while based in Europe (1986-9), worked as a model (1993-6) and television presenter in the late 1990s.[1]

He joined the Theatre Department at the American University in Cairo where he had the opportunity to discover his acting talent in the University's drama productions. In 1997 he left for the United States to pursue his passion for acting.[2] There he studied film acting, cinematography and directing. He cited his acting teacher Dr Mahmoud Al Lozy as a person who has influenced him.[3]

Acting career[edit]

The first phase of Abol Naga's acting career (1989-2002) was largely in the theatre, although he began hosting talk shows in 1998,[4] which contributed to his popularity as a media personality in Egypt and Arabic speaking states. His television and film work has included a variety of different genres. After appearing in 2009 independent film Heliopolis by first time director Ahmad Abdalla, he starred in a second film Microphone which he also co-produced with Mohamed Hefzy in 2010.

Film[edit]

Abol Naga's acting career began in 1977 when he was still a child with a part in Egyptian film Genoun El Hob (La Folie De L'amore!). Since then he has appeared in a variety of films including psychological thrillers, romances and musical comedies.

In 2001 his film career gained momentum when he was chosen by director Daoud Abdel Sayed for a part in Mowaten we Mokhber we Haramy (A Citizen, A Detective and A Thief). In 2002 he demonstrated his talent for singing in the musical comedy Wust El-Balad (Downtown). He was then offered a part in Sahar El Layali (Sleepless Nights) which became a hit in 2003. Later the same year Abol Naga was awarded Best Actor at the Damascus International Film Festival and the Best Actor Award in Paris from the Institute du Monde Arabe Film Fesitval.

After Sahar El Layli, Abol Naga acted in five more films in a short period of time. In 2004 he played naval officer Lt Hasan Hosny in Yom El Karama (Dignity Day), followed by Kimo in Hob El Banat (Girl's Love). In 2005 he appeared in three more films: Harb Italia (Italian War), Malek wa Ketaba (Heads and Tails), and Banat West El Balad (Downtown Girls).

In 2006 he appeared in Leabet el hob (The Game of Love) - for which he received Best Actor at the Alexandra International Film Festival. He also appeared in Tamer El-Bustani's independent film: Qutat Baladi (Stray Cats) with Rola Mahmoud.[5] In the same year he was introduced to English speaking audiences in the role of Gabe Hassan in the American/Canadian production Civic Duty.

In a review of Fi Shaket Masr El Gebeeda (In the Heliopolis Flat, 2007), Mohamed El-Assyouti of Al-Ahram Weekly noted a tendency for Abol Naga "to have been type-cast as the middle-class romantic co- lead in almost all his films".[6] His subsequent portrayal of Farid in the crime mystery Kashf Hesab gained him more positive critical attention. In the same year, Abol Naga played Ez in the action/thriller/drama Agamista. In 2008 he portrayed Ramez in the comedy Habibi Naeman. In 2009 he appeared in One-Zero as Sherif and in first time director Ahmad Abdalla's Heliopolis as Ibrahim. In 2010 he continued the working relationship by starring in and co-producing Abdalla's second film: Microphone. Originally due for mainstream realise in Cairo on January 26, 2011, the film was re-released after the protests in Tahrir Square.

Khaled Abol Naga has a record of presence at International Film Festivals, either as a performer or a jury member. In 2009-2010 attended 12 international film festivals including the Venice Film Festival, Toronto's TIFF, Vancouver's VIFF, Cairo's CIFF, Abu Dhabi's ADIFF, Doha Tribecca Film Festival, London's BFI, and Thessaloniki FF, inviting him either as a jury member or as an actor in his two award winning movies "One-Zero" or "Heliopolis".

In an interview in 2010 Abol Naga said "From the industry side, my biggest challenge is to find original roles".[7]

Films
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Sol Star Writer/Director
2000 Leh khaletny ahebak, Why Did You Make Me Love You? Himself
Rendez-Vous Ashraf
2001 Mowaten we Mokhber we Haramy, A Citizen, A Detective and A Thief Selim
2003 Sahar el layaly, Sleepless Nights Ali
El Banat Seif El Daly TV mini series
2004 Hob el banat, Girl's Love Kimo (Karim El Sharkawy)
Youm el karama, Dignity Day Hasan Hosny
2005 Malek wa ketaba, Heads and Tails Tarek
Harb Atalia Fouad
Banat west albalad, Downtown Girls Chef Samir
2006 Civic Duty Gabe Hassan
Leabet el hob, A Game of Love Essam
Mafeesh gher keda, None But That! Nader
Qutat Baladi, Stray Cats Independent film
2007 Fi Shaket Masr El Gedeeda, In the Heliopolis Flat Yehia
Kashf hesab Farid
Agamista Ez
2008 Habibi Naeman, Sleeping Habibi Ramez
2009 One-Zero Sherif
Heliopolis Ibrahim Co-producer
2010 Microphone Khaled Co-producer
The BuSSy Monologues Co-producer/Director
Citizen Brando
Alket moot

Theatre[edit]

Abol Naga's theatre work included a variety of roles; in some instances like Mahfouz-yat (1990) and 2 Underground (1994) he has played more than one role in a single production. In 2010 he became involved with the production of The BuSSy monologues - "True stories about young men and women in Egypt".

Theatre Performances
Year Title Role Director
1989 Oliver! Bill Sikes Larry P. Caitlin & Walter Eysselinck
1990 Mahfouz-yat Multiple characters Tarek Ghaleb
1991 Oghneiet Elmot Death Song Elwan Ihab Shawi
1994 2 Underground Etnen taht Elard Dr Labeeb and Maazoun Ahmed Zaki
1996 Rosasa fil Kalb Lovestruck Naguib Mahmoud El Lozy
2002 West El Balad Ramadan/Romeo Naser Abdel Menem

Television[edit]

In 1999 Abol Naga was offered several opportunities to host different television programs. In 2000 he was awarded Best New TV Announcer (Egypt). He was later chosen to host the popular Good Morning Egypt, which he compared until 2001. He appeared in the TV mini-series El Banat. He hosted live talk show Eshar Ma'ana. After leaving Nile Variety in 2000, he hosted MUZIKANA for MBC TV which brought him recognition across Arabic speaking states.

Radio[edit]

Abol Naga has performed in radio productions as a voice actor. In 2003 he played Sherif in Ahlam El Sabaya (Girls Dreams) directed by Hosny Ghonem. The following year he performed in the romantic comedy radio drama Back to Love (directed by Hessein Ibrahim) in 2004 as Tarek.

Abol Naga also created and hosted BBCe! a weekly bilingual radio program in Arabic and English. This is a co-production with the BBC World Service and airs on several ERTU radio stations within Egypt.

Humanitarian work[edit]

Khaled Abol Naga has used his status as a media personality to raise awareness of a variety of issues in Egypt, such as religious tolerance and the pro-democracy movement. He is a supporter of the BuSSy monologues, which deal with controversial topics that affect youth in Egypt, and has advocated Human Rights, and Social Justice using social networking sites.

In 2005 Khaled Abol Naga joined the Make Poverty History campaign.

He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2007. On April 21, 2008 the UNICEF partnership was renewed.[8] Throughout his involvement, Abol Naga has addressed several taboo issues affecting children in Egypt, including HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation (FGM), children's rights, street children, and adolescents’ development.[9]

In 2009 he celebrated Egypt's Orphan's Day (April 3) with children participating in Doodle4Google, an art event that encouraged orphaned children to create variants of the Google logo to reflect their Egyptian identity at the German University in Cairo.[10]

He is an ambassador for Y-Peer: An international youth network concerned with informing and empowering youth on issues such as sexuality and reproductive health that was begun by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).[11]

He has supported the Hands Across the Middle East Support Alliance (HAMSA), a non-profit, non-sectarian Human Rights organisation by acting as a celebrity judge for the "Dream Deferred Essay Contest".[12]

In 2010 he supported Crisis Action's Sudan365 campaign which was launched in January that year to promote peace in Sudan at its Cairo event.[13]

At a special launch of The State of the World's Children by UNICEF Egypt in April 2010, Abol Naga identified his priorities as: "an Egypt free of female genital mutilation, an Egypt where clean water and proper sewage systems were available nationwide, an Egypt where there was equality between all children, regardless of their religion or gender, and an Egypt where there was equality in education and where children were protected from the effects of climate change."[14] He participated in the first TEDx Cairo in May the same year at the American University.[15]

After the 2011 Alexandria bombing Abol Naga visited the survivors in hospital and attended candle lit vigils to promote religious tolerance in Egypt. On January 10 he organised and hosted the "Microphone for Alexandria" concert with musicians who had appeared in Microphone (2010). The concert aimed to promote solidarity between Christian and Muslim Egyptians.[16]

In late January 2011 he participated in the Egyptian Uprising in Tahrir Square, having been a signatory to Mohamed ElBaradei's manifesto for political reform, Together for Change on March 28, 2010 with other film makers and directors.[17] While in Tahrir, he took live footage, photographs and recorded audio casts which were later uploaded to the internet. He was interviewed in English by Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera,[18] and by the BBC regarding the protests. Al-Ahram Weekly later reported that he was involved in an altercation with plain clothes police in which he was assaulted.[19] He is currently working on collating his footage and photographs of the uprising in Tahrir Square.[20]

Awards[edit]

Year Award
1996 Best Short Art Film Sol Star, (writer/director) Cairo Biennale
2000 Best New TV Announcer (Egypt)
2003 Best Actor: Damascus International Film Festival
Best Actor Award: Institute du Monde Arabe Film Fesitval (Paris)
Best Actor, Catholic Center Awards Cairo for El Banat (TV mini-series)
2004 Best Actor, Biennale of Arab Cinema, IMA 2004[21] for Sahar el Layaly
2005 Best Actor Achievement, Horeyaty Annual Awards for Harb Atalia
2006 Best Actor, Alexandria International Film Festival 2006[22] for Leabet el hob
2010 GOLD TANIT of JCC Chartage Cinematic days Festival for Microphone (co-producer)
Best Arabic Film of CIFF Cairo International Film Festival for Microphone (co-producer)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "خالد أبو النجا: ليس في الفن وصفات سحرية". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  2. ^ "خالد أبو النجا, صور خالد أبو النجا, إشاعة خالد أبو النجا, كلمات أغاني خالد أبو النجا". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  3. ^ "gulfnews : Khaled Abol Naga: I have great expectations". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Khaled Abol Naga « Microphone – ميك". Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  5. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly / Culture / Exploring European and "independent" Egyptian film". Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  6. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly / Culture / True romance". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  7. ^ "gulfnews : Khaled Abol Naga: I have great expectations". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  8. ^ UNICEF Egypt Renews Khaled Abol Naga’s Appointment as Goodwill Ambassador, on UNICEF
  9. ^ UNICEF Egypt Renews Khaled Abol Naga’s Appointment as Goodwill Ambassador, on UNICEF
  10. ^ "Doodle 4 Google - "My Egypt"". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  11. ^ "ABOUT Y-PEER". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Celebrity Judges for HAMSA's "Dream Deferred Essay Contest"". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  13. ^ "crisis-action-2009-10-annual-report-english" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  14. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly / Living / Guaranteeing rights for children". Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  15. ^ "TEDxCairo: A summary and a podcast - TED Fellows". Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  16. ^ ""Microphone for Alexandria" concert to benefit victims of bomb blast - Music - Arts & Culture - Ahram Online". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  17. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly / Egypt / Fixing the brand". Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  18. ^ "YouTube - Egyptian actor supports the protesters". Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  19. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly / Special / Acting out the revolution". Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  20. ^ "Egyptian filmmaker takes breather in Adelaide - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  21. ^ "Paris Biennal of Arab Cinema". Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  22. ^ "Alexandria International Film Festival (2006)". Retrieved 2011-01-26. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]