Nelly Karim to ET: ’Faten Amal Harby’ sheds the light on major defects in personal status law

Irina Baranova

File: Faten Amal Harby poster.




Faten Amal Harby is a social drama series that revolves around the sufferings of Faten  ( Nelly Karim) a divorced woman with two daughters.



The series highlights vital societal issues including partner violence, divorce, as well as the injustice and hardships Egyptian women face when opting for divorce, including children custody rights.


 Faten is a strong Egyptian woman who decided to file a lawsuit against the Personal Status law to change this unfair law that deprives her of her rights.



Egypt Today chatted with Egyptian superstar Nelly Karim about Faten role and how she views the effect of such series on these vital societal issues.


1- Who is Faten Amal Harby?



Faten is one of the real  personalities who are present in all the Egyptian families. She is a woman who is going through very difficult circumstances, and she tries all the time to survive for the sake of her daughters. Through the series we highlight the incidents that Faten is going through, the situations she faces, and how she deals with her life crisis.



2- Can we consider Faten a strong character? 


Of course, Faten has a very strong character  and despite her weak moments, she is able to withstand in the face of the difficulties she is going through.


Fates is not a fictional character, but she is this Egyptian woman who is always described as “the pillar of the house”, a metaphor that expresses the importance of Egyptian women and their ability to maintain the consistency of their families despite the crisis that they are facing. Faten is an example of the woman who will remain stable and strong to face life’s difficulties.




3-Who inspired you to perform Faten role? 



There is no specific inspiration but any artist throughout his life meets different and varied personalities, and hears many realistic stories so when he/she performs a certain character he/she starts to use all these experiences and data stored in his/her mind.Although there is no specific character in my life that totally inspired me to play Faten role, I met some characters that are similar to Faten, suffered from the same things or have similar circumstances and I hope that the messages we sent through Faten character are well received especially after the great interaction with the series episodes till now.


4-While preparing for a certain character, do you bear in mind the audience’s reactions pertaining to the character and the series?



No, I do not think about the audience’s reaction towards any work I present, I only exert the maximum effort to perform the role with full credibility, as for whether the work will succeed or no, I do not think about this issue during the preparation stage at all, I only concentrate on embodying my role 


5-Tell us more about your cooperation with Sherif Salama for the first time in Faten Amal Harby series




Sherif presented a totally different role that literally surprised all the audience. Sherif is a talented actor who provided a distinguished performance to Seif el Dandrawy character despite it is an extremely difficult role. Behind the scenes with Sherif were really great, the audience admired much his role especially that he didn’t perform similar role before.



6-Most of your works tackle vital  societal problems, you did that on purpose? 


Frankly speaking discussing such issues depend on a number of factors, including the production company, the director and the scriptwriter. It is true that most of my works tackled societal problems but that was not performed on purpose. At the end of the day I am an actress who presents multiple roles, some of which have important social aspects and different dimensions, but if you are asking about this series, the idea was for the director Mando Al-Adl, and he discussed it with the great writer Ibrahim Eissa.









7-Does Faten Amal Harby series helps women to regain some of their rights 




The series supports women, and discusses major defects in family law pertaining to divorce and children custody that hundreds of women are suffering from in the family courts nowadays.If we take a look at the laws that were made more than 50 years ago, we will find significant weak points in them that negatively effect women rights.Despite the judges’ sympathy, they are at end governed by this law, which need to be changed, especially in light of the government’s steps to support women, and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s great efforts to empower Egyptian women, this is crystal clear from the number of female ministers and judges we have now, that’s why the series tried to prop up women and shed the light on major problems that many divorced women like Faten suffer from.




8-The series shed the light on major problems do you think it has the power to help in solving these problems?



 I certainly hope that this happens and the series contributes to make a radical change in the law that it shed the light on. The series highlighted many problems that thousands of women currently suffer from in the society.




9-Tell us more about your cooperation with veteran producer Gamal El Adl




As usual the cooperation with veteran producer Gamal El Adl is always fruitful. Some may view the producer as a rich guy who is investing his money in cinema or drama only to maximize his profits, on the contrary the producer is a person who has an artistic vision to choose a professional cast who must work together with full harmony. Gamal El Adl is one of the producers who has an artistic sense and the ability to make high quality series and movies.

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