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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Hind Rostum Interviewed in 2010 by Mahmoud Sa3ad 

 

Translated by Priscilla Adum

 

 

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Introduction

This is an interview Hind Rostum gave in 2010, with Mahmoud Sa3ad. It was the first interview she had given in more than 30 years. The video clip of the televised interview can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI-fyzAkmrw

In the introduction, Mahmoud Sa3ad explains that Hind Rostum has agreed to this interview on the condition that it will be a voice only interview. They are not allowed to film her. However, at the last moment, she surprisingly agrees to allow cameramen in, and it is she herself who opens the door of her apartment and greets them.

Hind Rostum

 

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Interview

HIND ROSTUM: Ahlan. Ahlan wa Sahlan. [Welcome, welcome]. Where would you like to sit?

MAHMOUD: Wherever you usually sit.

HIND ROSTUM: I always sit on this sofa.

MAHMOUD: I'll sit in this chair then. We are so happy for this interview and that you gave us the opporunity to see you. Millions of television viewers have been longing to see you. 

HIND ROSTUM: Thank you for your wonderful visit.

MAHMOUD: So this is where you stay at home, in front of the television with Dr. Fayed's picture in front of you. [Dr. Fayed was her late husband.]

HIND ROSTUM: Yes.

MAHMOUD: Do you get up early Madame Hind?

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, I wake up at 5:00 am.

MAHMOUD: And what time do you go to bed?

HIND ROSTUM: At 10 pm at the latest. I watch television, and that's enough to make one feel sleepy. [They both laugh.]

[ABOUT THE PHOTO: Hind Rostum with Farid al-Atrache.]

MAHMOUD: The television makes you feel sleepy while you sit and watch it.

HIND ROSTUM: Yes. I feel sad when I watch television.

MAHMOUD: Why, Madame Hind?

HIND ROSTUM: Because this isn't the quality that represents Egypt. What we present on television does not represent the quality of Egypt.

Hind Rostum with Farid al-Atrache

MAHMOUD: Do you mean the soap operas, or the dramas or the programs?

HIND ROSTUM: As far as programs, there are good programs. And there are good television presenters, although I don't know their names. I'm referring to the soap operas which are full of sad things.

MAHMOUD: Yes in the past, during every Ramadan there were comedy soap operas and also the fawazer.

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, after Nellie and Sherihan there haven't been any more. Although, there is Nellie Karem and she is a good dancer. Why don't we have her do a fawazer

MAHMOUD: Yes Madame Hind, people do need a release from their stress. Life has changed, Madame Hind. 

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, life has changed and people have changed as well. Television is a basic thing in our lives, it has a responsibility. We learn things from it. Bad words have become common on tv. That's not good. It's shameful.

[ABOUT THE PHOTO: Hind Rostum with Omar Sharif.]

MAHMOUD: Do you go out to the movies?

HIND ROSTUM: I used to go only for Yousef Chahin and for Adel Imam.

MAHMOUD: So, you wake up at 5:00 am after sleeping since 10:00 pm, and the first thing you do is to say good morning to Dr Fayed? 

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, and I talk to Dr. Fayed.

MAHMOUD: What do you say to him?

HIND ROSTUM: I say to him, "Thank you for all the things you did for me when you were alive." 

MAHMOUD: He was a great scientist.

HIND ROSTUM: Yes. He was indeed a great scientist. He hated money. He was a prince, in every way. 

 

Hind Rostum and Omar Sharif

MAHMOUD: You lived together for 50 years.

HIND ROSTUM: Yes.

MAHMOUD: Do you regret having retired at a young age when you were at the pinnacle of your career?

HIND ROSTUM: Not at all. I felt how human (kind) he always was with me. And there is a saying that goes: Behind every good man there is a woman. This is a true saying. If he is a person with a difficult job and he holds his soul in his hands, then he must come home to a comfortable home. A sedative. I consider the home as a sedative. So if he came home tired and wanted to know, "Where is madame?" and the answer was, "She's at the studio," or "She's out," I saw that I had to be at home. 

MAHMOUD: I'd like Madame Basant to join us. Welcome, Madame Basant. Madame Basant is the daughter of Madame Hind Rostum, her only one. First of all, I'd like to say thank you for convincing Madame Hind agree to this interview becuase Madame Hind Rostum doesnt like to appear much on screen.

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, exactly.

[ABOUT THE PHOTO: Hind Rostum.]

MAHMOUD: Before we began taping, you said to me that you are now her mother and you said that she's a bit difficult. [He then looks to the camera.] She said Madame Hind is a bit difficult as a daughter, but as a mother she was a wonderful mother. 

MADAME BASANT: Very much so. We don't realize that until we grow up. I used to think that she was firm and strict.

MAHMOUD: When you were a child?

MADAME BASANT: Yes, but we didn't understand that. But when I grew up, I felt that she was right all along. Thank God that I wasn't born in this generation; otherwise, we'd have been in real trouble for sure! [Laughing]

MAHMOUD: For sure!

MADAME BASANT: We're talking about a long time ago. 

Hind Rostum

MAHMOUD: Madame Basant has children who are already married, is that right?

MADAME BASANT: I only have a son, Mohamed. And I have two grandsons, Adam who's 3 years old and Ziad who is 3 months.

MAHMOUD: Bring us their photos.

[Madame Basant gets up to bring the pictures.]

MAHMOUD: [Asks Hind Rostum] What did you feel when these children were born?

HIND ROSTUM: [Laughing] The little one belongs to me. And the other one belongs to Basant.

[They all laugh.]

MAHMOUD: Why do you make a distinction between them? 

HIND ROSTUM: This one is a prince and the other one is unruly. 

MAHMOUD: Which of your fellow actors do they resemble? For example, is the unruly one like Ahmed Ramzy and the other one like Emad Hamdy? 

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, exactly.

MADAME BASANT: But a lot more handsome! [Laughing]

[They show Ahmed Ramzy and Emad Hamdy on the screen.]

MAHMOUD: [To Hind Rostum] We'll put on some films for you. Which of our old films would you like to see?

MADAME BASANT: Emra 3la el Hamesh (A Woman Set Aside)

HIND ROSTUM: Yes, like you said. Emra 3la el Hamesh.

Hind Rostum

 

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About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 

Priscilla

 

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