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600 Never-Before-Seen Pictures from Egypt’s Golden Age Were Just Released

The images were donated to NYU Abu Dhabi's photography centre.


Approximately 615 photographs from Egyptian cinema have been published online by Akkasah, the Centre for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi. The never-before-seen pictures are negatives belonging to Samir Farid, an Egyptian film critic, writer, and scholar that were donated to the centre. The collection includes a variety of shots dated between 1940 and 1990, making the majority of the pictures from the Egyptian Golden Age, the period between 1940 to 1960 when the Egyptian cinema industry was the third-largest film industry in the world.

The collection showcases many socio-cultural changes as it covers a substantial timeframe. It also features a variety of content including negatives taken on sets of movies, publicity shots, behind-the-scenes images, and even candid photos of the cast and crew.


Akkasah has taken precautionary measures to preserve these pictures considering their fragile nature by scanning, processing, identifying the metadata correlated to the images, and keeping an archive of the actors and films associated with the images. Iconic actors are featured in the collection, including Ismail Yassine, Laila Fawzy, Kamal el-Shennawi, Mahmoud El Meleigy, Taheyya Kariokka, Farid Shawqy, Madiha Yousri, and Mohamed Fawzy. We’re definitely in the mood for some retro charm and are super excited about the release of this vintage collection. Which of these old school gems is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

To view the full Samir Farid collection, visit Akkasah’s website.