Ain Shams University
Khaled Mohammed Sami Abol Naga
Tarek Abol Naga, Salwa Abol Naga
Eyes of a Thief, Villa 69, Microphone, Heliopolis, Civic Duty
Changing egypt truly madly deeply khaled abol naga tedxcairo
Kal Naga (also credited as Khaled Naga or Khaled Abol Naga) is a multi award-winning actor, film producer and director from Egypt (he directed theatre mostly and short films). He is a movie star in the Arab World and the Middle East but also a familiar face internationally specially in European film festivals, where he has been honoured with a diverse range of awards as an actor and producer as well as a jury member in film festivals. Since 2016 he focused on English speaking markets [Tyrant TV series season 3 (2016), American FX TV Network, Vikings season 5 (2017), History Channel and The Last Post TV mini series, UK's BBC TV]. His roles covered a multitude of genres, from musicals [None but that! (2007)], action [Agamista(2007), Eyes Of A Thief (2014)], thrillers [Kashf Hesab (2007)], art-house [Heliopolis (2009), Villa 69 (2013), Decor (2014)] and a slapstick comedy [Habibi Naeman (Sleeping Habibi) (2008)]. He played the lead in many award-winning films that gained him outstanding international critics acclaim as one of the finest actors in the world today out of the Arab region. He studied and graduated (with highest honours) as a Tele-communication engineer' from Ain Shams University, studied theatre (as a minor) at the American University in Cairo, and worked on a spacecraft design program (UoSAT-5 ) in the UK. He finally confirmed his passion and calling for the arts by the year 2000. In a film festival in 2016 celebrating Arabic films submissions to the "Oscars," he was honoured for being the most submitted actor in Arabic films submissions to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (The Oscars). He is often tagged in western media as "Egypt's "Brad Pitt" for his many career similarities with the latter, also described as "the next Omar Sharif" specially after his American debut movie Civic Duty in 2007. He was also described as "Egypt's International treasure" for advocating for freedom and standing up against injustice in his home country Egypt. He is one of the most recognisable faces of the 2011 revolution, seizing the anti-regime sentiment in the streets of Cairo and taking part in mass demonstrations that led to the removal of President Mubarak. He faced defamation campaigns against him by the state owned and controlled media during Mubarak era before the January 25th 2011 revolution in Egypt, and once again from the 2013 "coup d'etat" General Sisi government in Egypt. Nonetheless he continued his regional and international award-winning success, as well as waves of strong support on social media. He also had a very celebrated and successful career across the Arab world TV networks as a TV & radio host in prime time shows from 1997 till 2005. He is a human and child rights activist and has been Egypt's UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador 2007–2015. He has worked across a diverse variety of media, including theatre, radio, television and film in Arabic, English and some French and Italian.
- Changing egypt truly madly deeply khaled abol naga tedxcairo
- Cnn interview jan 2012 khaled abol naga african voices part 2 3
- Early years
- Acting career
- Humanitarian work
- Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Egypt
- Jury Appointments
- Shorts documentaries
- Feature films
Cnn interview jan 2012 khaled abol naga african voices part 2 3
Kal Naga (Khaled Abol Naga) was born in Heliopolis, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt, His father is the late Egyptian army Major General Mohamed-Sami Aboul-Naga (Arabic: اللواء أ.ح / محمد سامى السيد أبوالنجا) and traditionally from a family of major land owners in ad-Daqahliyah, Aga, Egypt and Turkey that was mostly confiscated by the Nasser revolution during 1952 and its Land reform in Egypt, His late mother revealed in 2013 that he is a descendent of Islamic prophet Muhammad through Fatima Az-Zahraa and Imam Husayn ibn Ali son of Ali ibn Abi Talib. He is the younger brother of American-based Egyptian architect Tarek Naga, and architect Seif Abol Naga who appeared in the classic film Empire M, Salwa Aboul Naga, Samia Aboul Naga, Hesham Aboul Naga.
During his childhood, Khaled Abol Naga spent a lot of time with his elder brother, Tarek, whom he quoted many times as having a major influence on his character growing up. Khaled was naturally interested in acting at an early age; and appeared in a film (Madness of Love) starring Naglaa-Fathy at the age of 9. He grew up in Heliopolis, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Cairo, where he attended St. George's College school for his primary education, graduated with highest honours as an Engineer of Electrical Telecommunications from the renowned Ain Shams University Faculty of Engineering (ASUFE) and then at American University in Cairo. He studied Computer Science with minors in Theatre and Drama. While in England he worked on spacecraft design (1990-2). He played water polo for his varsity team while based in Europe (1986-9), worked as a model (1993-6) and a famous late night talk show host and radio presenter in the late 1990s.
He joined the Theatre Department at the American University in Cairo where he had the opportunity to discover his acting talent in the University's drama productions. In 1997 he left to the United States for more independent studies of his passion; filmmaking. There he studied film acting, cinematography and directing. He cited his acting teacher Dr Mahmoud Al Lozy as a his mentor who has influenced him the most.
The first phase of Naga's acting career (1989-2002) was largely on stage (in the theatre), although he began hosting TV talk shows in 1998, which contributed to his popularity as a media personality in Egypt and Arabic speaking states. His television and film work has included a variety of different genres. After co-producing and acting in 2009 independent film Heliopolis by first time director Ahmad Abdalla, he starred in a second film Microphone which he also co-produced with Mohamed Hefzy in 2010. From 2010 onwards Abol Naga mostly played the lead of much more diverse and complex roles, continued to win numerous awards as an actor and as a producer from regional and international prestigious film festivals. appointed as a jury member and sometimes jury head of regional and international film festivals. he is considered one of the top actors in the world today out of the Arab region.
Naga's acting career began in 1977 when he was still a child with a part in Egyptian film Madness of Love (Arabic: جنون الحب) (aka: Genoun El Hob) (aka: La Folie De L'amore). Since then he has appeared in a variety of films including psychological thrillers, romances and musical comedies.
In 2001 his film career gained momentum when he was chosen by director Daoud Abdel Sayed for the lead in A Citizen, An Informant And A Thief (Mowaten we Mokhber we Haramy) (Arabic: مواطن و مخبر و حرامي ). In 2002 he demonstrated his talent for singing in the musical comedy Wust El-Balad ("Downtown"). He was then offered a part in "Sleepless Nights" (aka: "Sahar El Layali") which became a box office hit in 2003-2004. Later in the same year Abol Naga was awarded Best Actor at the Damascus International Film Festival and the Best Actor Award from the Paris Arab Cinema Biennale of the Institute du Monde Arabe IMA Film Festival.
After "Sleepless Nights" aka: Sahar El Layali, Abol Naga acted in more films in a short period of time. In 2004 he played naval officer Lt Hasan Hosny in Yom El Karama (Dignity Day), followed by his character Kimo in a popular romantic comedy Hob El Banat (Girl's Love). In 2005-2006 he appeared in several more films: Harb Italia (Italian War), Malek wa Ketaba (Heads and Tails), and the romantic comedy Banat West El Balad (Downtown Girls).
In 2006 he appeared as the lead in Leabet el hob (The Game of Love) - for which he received Best Actor at the Alexandra International Film Festival. He also appeared in Tamer El-Bustani's independent short film: Qutat Baladi (Stray Cats). In the same year he was introduced to English speaking audiences in the role of Gabe Hassan in the American/Canadian production Civic Duty, It premiered at Tribecca film Festival in New york, and nominated at the Cairo International Film Festival 2007, his performance created a lot of attention to his talent and since then was often described by media as the next Omar Sharif.
In a review of Fi Shaket Masr El Gebeeda (In the Heliopolis Flat, 2007), Mohamed El-Assyouti of Al-Ahram Weekly noted a tendency for Abol Naga "to have been type-cast as the middle-class romantic star co-lead in almost all his films this year". His subsequent portrayal of Farid in the crime mystery Kashf Hesab gained him more positive critical attention. In the same year, Abol Naga played the lead Ez in the action/thriller/drama Agamista. In 2008 he portrayed Ramez in the comedy Habibi Naeman. In 2009 he appeared as a lead Cherif in One-Zero and then produced and appeared as the lead in first time director Ahmad Abdalla's Heliopolis as Ibrahim. In 2010 he continued the working relationship by starring in and co-producing Abdalla's second film: Microphone. Originally due for mainstream realise in Cairo on January 26, 2011, the film was re-released after the protests in Tahrir Square and won numerous awards and gained a regional and worldwide acclaim.
Naga has a record of presence at International Film Festivals, either as a performer or a jury member. In 2009-2010 attended 12 international film festivals including the Venice Film Festival, Toronto's TIFF, Vancouver's VIFF, Cairo's CIFF, Abu Dhabi's ADIFF, Doha Tribeca Film Festival, London's BFI, and Thessaloniki FF, inviting him either as a jury member or as an actor in his award-winning movies "Microphone", "One-Zero" or "Heliopolis".
In an interview in 2010 Abol Naga said "From the industry side, my biggest challenge is to find original roles".
Naga achieved a historical winning of ALL important Best Actor Awards offered in Egypt in 2014(Egypt's National Film Festival, Film Society Festival for Egyptian Cinema, The Catholic Centre festival for Egyptian Cinema) for his role in "Villa 69" as well as winning The Best Actor award (SILVER PYRAMID) from The prestigious Cairo International Film Festival for his role in the Palestinian submission to the OSCAR's "Eyes of a thief" among other regional Best Actor awards, in the same year, he also won several regional awards for his incredible portrayal of an older man Hussein in "Villa 69" including the Best Actor Award from Festival du Cinema Africain Khouribga, Morocco (Khaled is the Lead Actor & Executive-Producer)
Naga's theatre work started in 1989 with his university plays at The Department of Theatre, Drama and Music of the American university in Cairo, his work as a theatrical actor included a variety of roles; in some instances like Mahfouz-yat (1990) and Two Underground (1994) he has played more than one role in a single production, He collected few awards as an actor and director of varsity plays.
In 2010 he became involved as filming director of the student play production of The BuSSy monologues - "True stories about young men and women in Egypt".
On Saturday 13 April 2013, the play written by Nassim Soleimanpour, White Rabbit Red Rabbit that was performed by an array of A-list actors around the world. was performed for the first time in Arabic in Cairo by Naga, who knew nothing of the play before he stood on the stage, as it is an experimental play; "This was a role for which I was prepared the most; you are always instructed not to do any preparation for the role [before reading the script]," said Abol Naga, The actor then revealed what intrigued him most about the play: "I liked that the meaning of the play is buried within the script, and I was unveiling it [as I read] with you. Sometimes I repeated the statements I thought were important," explained Abol Naga
In September 2013, in a unique stage play reading in Arabic; "Cancelled", Khaled Abol Naga seamlessly takes on the lead role of Hassan, the director, and does a perfect and utterly hilarious impersonation of the talented, kind hearted and easily irritated director-professor who loves his students, but constantly criticising them and the entire generation to which they belong, In this rough form of a play Abol Naga's theatrical capabilities shined.
In September 2015, A unique musical opened at The Royal Cultural Centre of Amman, Jordan, He directed the first ever Arabic transportation of acclaimed West End musical "Oliver!," (Lionel Bart's musical "Oliver!"), His unique and original adaptation swaps Dickensian London to a contemporary Arab city(Amman in the Jordan production), He created together with the well known Disney writer Zeinab Mobarak, an adaptation that smartly kept the original Charles Dickens spirit and transported all the original songs and lyrics to the contemporary Arab culture, Maestro Nayer Nagui conducted the orchestra and top coached the children singing marathon lessons which was held in Jordan mostly with Syrian refugee children.
As a TV Host, Abol Naga from 1999, was offered several opportunities to host different television programs at the Variety channel of the Nile TV Network of ERTU. In 2000 he was awarded Best New TV Announcer (Egypt). He was later chosen to host the popular Good Morning Egypt TV show of ERTU, which he presented until 2001. He hosted a popular live talk show Eshar Ma'ana (translates: Spend the night with us). After leaving Nile Variety channel in 2000, he hosted MUZIKANA TV show about the Arab music top charts for MBC TV which brought him recognition across Arabic speaking states.
As an Actor on TV, He first appeared and attracted attention to his talent in his award-winning (Seif el Daly), a male lead role in the Egyptian TV mini-series El Banat in 2003, then after his cinematic box office hit Sahar El-Layaly as the lead (Omar) in Leila's mad man aka: Magnoon Laila (Arabic: مجنون ليلي ), a very successful TV mini series in 2007 broadcast all over the Arab region and won him several awards later.
In 2016, He focused more on the English speaking markets as he appeared in an American Fox TV production (FX's TYRANT season 3) in a main role of an Islamic cleric sheikh AL-Qadi – (a recurring guest star in 10/10 episodes), then he was announced to appear in several top TV shows as the Emir of Kairawan : Ziyadat-Allah – (a guest star role in 2 episodes) of the History channel hit TV show, VIKINGS (season 5) airing in Canada in 2017, as well as a BBC TV mini series in a guest recurring role: The Informant – ( in 6/6 episodes) of THE LAST POST (TV mini series ).
As a presenter, Abol Naga created and hosted BBCe! a weekly bilingual radio program in Arabic and English. This is a co-production with the BBC World Service and airs on several ERTU radio stations within Egypt. BBCe was short listed for The BBC world service Innovation award in January 2007.
As an actor, Naga has performed in several ERTU radio productions (Ramadan seasons) as a voice actor. In 2003 he played a main role among an all star cast as Sherif in Ahlam El Sabaya (translates: The Girl's Dreams) directed by Hosny Ghoneim. The following year he performed in the romantic comedy radio drama Back to Love (directed by Hessein Ibrahim) (2004) as the lead Tarek.
Naga has used his status as a film star in the Arab region and even before as a TV celebrity to raise awareness of a variety of issues in Egypt and the Middle-east. He played a pivotal role among others in the pro-democracy movement that culminated in the Tahrir square uprising of the 2011 January 25 famous Egyptian revolution, he organised events and concerts in support of religious tolerance, He advocated strongly to support Egyptian minorities as in the case of the violence against the copts, he was also one of the very early voices that supported taboo subjects in Egypt and the region like HIV awareness and FGM horrific practices.
In 2005 Naga joined the Make Poverty History campaign.
He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2007. On April 21, 2008 the UNICEF partnership was renewed. Throughout his involvement, Abol Naga has addressed several taboo issues affecting children in Egypt, including HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation (FGM), children's rights, street children, and adolescents’ development.
In 2009 he celebrated Egypt's Orphan's Day (April 3) with children participating in Doodle4Google, an art event that encouraged orphaned children to create variants of the Google logo to reflect their Egyptian identity at the German University in Cairo.
He is a strong supporter (and directed the 2010 filmed version) of play: The BuSSy monologues, It originated as a student story telling play in 2005, It was inspired by Eva Ensler's Vagina monologues, the play was constructed of 100's of acts based on real letters of true but taboo stories of young women and men from Egypt, it culminated to a show in 2010 that covered controversial gender topics affecting youth in Egypt and was struggling to find any theatre in Cairo to accept its production, hence the idea of filming it to document the play in a filmed version, He directed and produced with others a filmed version in 2010 after being invited by the students to watch it in the parking lot of the Cairo Opera house!.
He also was an ambassador for Y-Peer: An international youth network concerned with informing and empowering youth on issues such as sexuality and reproductive health that was begun by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
He has supported the Hands Across the Middle East Support Alliance (HAMSA), a non-profit, non-sectarian Human Rights organisation by acting as a celebrity judge for the "Dream Deferred Essay Contest".
In 2010 he supported Crisis Action's Sudan365 campaign which was launched in January that year to promote peace in Sudan at its Cairo event.
At a special launch of The State of the World's Children by UNICEF Egypt in April 2010, Abol Naga identified his priorities as: "an Egypt free of female genital mutilation, an Egypt where clean water and proper sewage systems were available nationwide, an Egypt where there was equality between all children, regardless of their religion or gender, and an Egypt where there was equality in education and where children were protected from the effects of climate change."
He participated in the first TEDx Cairo in May the same year at the American University.
In the wake of January 1 2011 Alexandria bombing Abol Naga visited the victims and survivors in hospitals, and lead candle lit vigils denouncing violence against copts and to promote religious tolerance in Egypt. On January 10 he organised and hosted the "Microphone for Alexandria" concert with musicians who had appeared in Microphone (2010). The concert aimed to raise funds for the victims and promote solidarity between Christian and Muslim Egyptians.
In late January 2011 he participated in the Egyptian Uprising in Tahrir Square, having been a signatory to Mohamed ElBaradei's manifesto for political reform, Together for Change on March 28, 2010 with other film makers and directors. While in Tahrir, he took live footage, photographs and recorded audio casts which were later uploaded to the internet. He was interviewed several times in English, once by Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera, and several times by the BBC regarding the protests. Al-Ahram Weekly later reported that he was involved in an altercation with plain clothes police in which he was assaulted and then deleted the news! He reported that he has an ongoing lifetime project working on collating his footage and photographs of the uprising in Tahrir Square 2011, documenting the massive protests against president Morsi of the Muslim brotherhood in November 2012, the military coup in 2013 and ongoing.
Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Egypt
Outline of his social work:
Naga has won a multitude of awards as an actor specially in the years 2004 for Sleepless Nights, and 2014 for Villa 69 and Eyes of a thief. and as a producer in 2013-2014 for Villa 69 and in 2010-2011 for Microphone a film that is considered a classic and one of the few independent films that is listed as one of the 100 Greatest films in the history of Arab cinema.
Khaled Abol Naga has a been appointed as a jury member or head of jury in numerous local or international film festivals since 2008, here are some of his appointments: