Recently, Egypt was hit by the tragic news of comedy icon Samir Ghanem passing away due to medical complications at the age of 84. And, naturally, we were all devastated because the late actor wasn’t just an icon — he was a presence in every sense of the word and, in a way, he’s been around for so long it’s like he was family.
When the day of the funeral arrived, it was only predictable that a lot of big time celebrities, such as Yousra and Elham Shahine and Hala Sedky and Mervat Amin, among others, would be among the first to show. And they did, just HOURS before half the Egyptian public turned on some of these celebrities.
Yes, you read it right. On the surface, public opinion is not quite in the favor of stars like Yousra right now, despite the fact that she did attend her long-time colleague and friend Samir Ghanem.
And why do you ask? Well, pictures say a thousand words, so here’s one:
Yes, as you can see, a lot of Egyptian celebrities have been pictured attending a high-profile Gouna wedding. And the fact that a lot of these same celebrities were crying and attending Samir Ghanem’s funeral in the morning didn’t really sit well with the public.
See, here’s how a large chunk of Egyptians see it — these wedding attendee celebs betrayed Samir Ghanem.
Yes, really. According to many, many, many tweets and long-winded posts, people just think this goes to show that the Egyptian celeb world is treacherous and untrustworthy. That the ‘friends’ you make inside that world are only friends so long as your interests are the same.
Other people see it as ‘not traditional’ because, traditionally, the way our parents and grandparents have expressed sadness was to be just as sad the family of the deceased and that we shouldn’t ‘rub our joy’ into their faces even if we are happy.
Many have even cited Hala Sedky and her reported decision to not go to a wedding once she learned of Samir Ghanem’s death and Adel Emam, who postponed his son’s wedding when the news of the late Nour El-Sherif’s death broke out.
But notice we only said that about a half (or just a tad more than a half, if we’re being honest) of Egyptians feel this way, so how does the other half feel?
The other half of the population doesn’t really see this wedding-funeral combo as that much of a big deal because, well, life does go on and, a lot of the time, weddings are as based in flattery as funerals are. Many pointed out that celebs just had to be there for the wedding of an assumed friend because that’s a commitment too.
Others saw it a little differently. See, a lot of Egyptians are firm believers in the whole concept of life moving on without them and that they actually want the people in their lives to be as happy and as unchained by sadness as they can be and a lot of people judge that Samir Ghanem (who reportedly once mentioned that the late Ghassan Matar was his only friend in show business) was one of those people.
No sentiments stopped other famous people from weighing in on the judgment. And even they weren’t a united front on the fallout.
That being said, there’s a lot we don’t know about the inner dynamics of Egypt’s famous circles. We don’t know if the wedding couldn’t be moved or what exactly was happening behind the scenes. And, once again, we feel like saying that just because celebrities are public figures, it doesn’t mean we know them fully or even know what’s happening in their lives.
Another thing we feel like saying is that this situation could literally happen to any one of us. And any of us could have had to keep up with the insane pressure of showing up for a funeral and a wedding on the same day because one of these things isn’t exactly scheduled and the other is a commitment.
The only difference between us and exceptionally famous celebrities, though, is the fact that only one party will be caught on camera. And that’s why pushing judgment without the full narrative might just be a little off. Especially when we know grief looks different for everyone and it’s not exactly always on our faces — food for thought.