Arts & Culture

Through the Lens of the Late Photojournalist Mohamed Hegazy

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Through the Lens of the Late Photojournalist Mohamed Hegazy

Mohamed Hegazy alongside Naguib Mahfouz
Photo source: Mohamed Hegazy’s archive

“Organising this exhibition is the least I could do to honour my father’s legacy,” said Egyptian Content Creator Aly Hegazy on the exhibition he is hosting to celebrate the work of his late father, photojournalist Mohamed Hegazy, on his first birthday after his passing.

From 30 August to 4 September, ‘Duat’, which means ‘afterlife’ in ancient Egyptian mythology, will showcase Mohamed Hegazy’s exclusive photo documentation of the last days of the legendary Naguib Mahfouz before he passed away. The exhibition will celebrate two icons as Mohamed Hegazy’s birthday coincides with the 15th memorial of the passing of Mahfouz.

‘Duat’ event poster

Naguib Mahfouz and Mohamed Hegazy had a strong relationship – Hegazy was allowed to stay at Mahfouz’s house for hours to document his final days after losing his eyesight. He was also the only photographer allowed to take pictures of Mahfouz at the hospital.

Born in 1964, Mohamed Hegazy was an accomplished photojournalist who covered sports, youth, arts, entertainment, and more. He interned at Al Ahram Newspaper, and later became the Photography Department Manager and Vice Editor-in-Chief at Nisf Al Dunia Magazine.

With pride in his voice, Aly explained that his father was his role model since he was a child.

Aly and his father, Photojournalist Mohamed Hegazy
Photo source: Aly Hegazy

“I grew up in his studio, watching him work with celebrities, and seeing billboards of his work everywhere,” said Aly. “He was always supportive, took me to exhibitions with him to learn, and bought me my first camera. He taught me all about photography,” he added.

After his father’s passing, Aly found a gem of analog archives of countless celebrities, from Egyptian actors Nour El Sherif and Mohamed Sobhy, to the famed Egyptian surgeon Dr. Magdi Yacoub, in addition to a number of heads of state. Upon finding this treasure, Aly decided that the best way to honour his father would be through a photo exhibition.

Mohamed Hegazy with Abdelrahman El-Abnudi
Photo source: Mohamed Hegazy’s archive

With the help of Egyptian artist Nourhan Rashwan, ‘Duat’ will be held at Consoleya Coworking space in Downtown Cairo. The pictures, which will be exhibited in Egypt for the first time, were previously shown in exhibitions in Austria, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

As the date of the exhibition approaches, Aly, who strongly believes in the legacy his father achieved, feels obliged to make this event a huge success. “I feel a huge responsibility because his [my father’s] work deserves to be exhibited in the best way,” concluded Aly.

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A journalism graduate from the American University in Dubai who is curious, spontaneous, and often rebellious, Marina is a passionate Cairo-based journalist who aspires to become one of the most influential women in the Middle East. She likes to follow her heart and express that through words; her favorite form of expression.

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