Arts & Culture

Al-Kawakeb: The Magazine that Birthed Celebrity Culture in Egypt

mm
Al-Kawakeb: The Magazine that Birthed Celebrity Culture in Egypt

From celebrity gossip columns to movie industry close-ups, al-Kawakeb magazine seeped into Egyptian celebrity culture, uncovering every corner of the industry. Capturing glitz and glamor for nearly 90 years, al-Kawakeb magazine is deemed Egypt’s oldest and most famous art magazine.

The magazine’s first issue was published on 28 March 1932 as a weekly magazine, focusing on movie reviews, celebrity interviews, and highlighting new rising celebrities. It introduced a new dimension to the Egyptian artistic scene, and created an archive of Egyptian cinematic and theatrical history.

Published by Dar al-Hilal, one of Egypt’s oldest publishing houses, Al-Kawakeb flourished without an editor-in-chief for 17 years until Egyptian author Fahim Naguib became the first to take on the role in 1949. It was later headed by prominent media figures in Egypt, including Mahmoud Saad, Ragaa al-Naqash, Raji Enayat. The magazine was a stepping stone for many stars in Egypt, as it introduced various artists such as Nagib al-Rihani, Serag Mounir, Youssef Wahbi, and Amina Rizk, helping them along their way to become legends of the silver screen.

Aside from featuring some of Egypt’s stellar megastars, the magazine also focused on addressing important social issues. During its first years, the magazine supported Egyptian cinema legend Zaki Talimate in his struggle of establishing an acting institute that enrolled girls, and also celebrated Zouzou Hamdi al-Hakim, who became the first woman to graduate from the institute.

Though the magazine established itself as a leader in the entertainment industry for nearly a decade, on 26 May 2022, a decision was made to merge al-Kawaekb, Tabibak el Khas (‘Your Personal Doctor’), which is a magazine focused on health and wellbeing, and Eve magazines altogether. The publications will soon be digitized: an end of an era.

Here are a few of al-Kawakeb covers that featured stellar stars.

Photo Credit: AUC Rare Books and Digital Collections, Public Domain
Photo Credit: AUC Rare Books and Digital Collections, Public Domain
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

 

 

Photo Credit: AUC Rare Books and Digital Collections, Public Domain

Visiting a Hammam: Dipping into Egypt’s Disappearing Bathhouse Culture
Cymbals and a Triangle: a Harmonious Addition to Coptic Hymns

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture
mm

Dual Degree in Political Science and Multimedia Journalism. I have a special love for storytelling, history, big cities, gender, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

More in Arts & Culture

15 Unskippable Intros From Egyptian TV Shows

Farah Rafik4 October 2022

Meet the Egyptian Author Who Devoted Her Life to Children’s Media Awareness

Farah Rafik1 October 2022

Review: Can Bouchée Conquer Korba’s Food Scene?

Shereif Barakat1 October 2022

In Vogue: The Revival of Arab Women’s 90s Lip Liner Look

Mirna Abdulaal30 September 2022

How to Get Away with Murder with Madame Fahmy

Farah Rafik26 September 2022

Recipe: a Modern Nubian Dish Symbolizing Love and Healing

Mirna Abdulaal26 September 2022

Egypt Sets Sights on Hosting 2036 Olympics

Shereif Barakat25 September 2022

Sounds of Joy: The Significance of ‘Zaghareet’ Amongst Egyptians

Farah Rafik24 September 2022