The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Injy El Mokkaddem: The Bold and Brave Actress Behind the Barefaced Safeya
    written by
    Cairo 360

    Astonishing us every year with successful roles, Injy El Mokkaddem has been showing what it is like to be an actor with range. Ramadan is every star’s chance to shine, and El Mokkaddem has been able to do so every Ramadan. Finding herself lucky to be able to work with the famous director Mohamed Samy this year, we had to sit down with El Mokkaddem and ask her all about her role as “Safeya” in the series Weld El Ghalaba. Indeed, the 41-year-old actress managed to amaze us this Ramadan, due to the vast difference between Sophia – the strong Italian expat character she played in last year’s series Layaly Eugine, and this year’s Safeya.

    When we asked her about the switch between playing an Italian woman lost in Egypt and an Upper Egyptian woman, and here is what El Mokkaddem had to say:

    “I love a challenge, and I enjoy the rush of adrenaline that comes when I test and push my boundaries. To me, it is all about the experience of pushing one’s self. I love to exceed levels and expectations and see how far I can push myself, and the extent to which I could rise up to any given challenge. [Aside from Safeya being different from Sophia] Safeya is 180 degrees different from me, in terms of social background, internal and external struggles, and so much more. While I was not familiar with a woman like Safeya, and I couldn’t easily relate to her, I was able to take myself out of my comfort zone, and truly push myself to study, and empathise, with Safeya.” El Mokkaddem added that “eventually [she] managed to truly fall in love with Safeya and commit to her character.”

    Speaking of committing to her character, we asked El Mokkaddem about her decision to go completely bare face – no makeup – for the entirety of the series.

    “I knew I had to go bare face. I initially actually applied lip balm, but eventually it was removed, and I did not think to re-apply it. Yes, it is definitely a challenge for all actors to appear in front of cameras without makeup, but it’s what the role requires; Safeya can’t possibly have flawless skin. Of course, doing this wasn’t at all easy, but it allowed me to build my own confidence and face some of my personal insecurities. I think this newly found confidence – thanks to Safeya – has helped me develop as a person and an actress; I just feel like I can trust myself and my instincts more securely than I did before.”

    We then went on to ask El Mokkaddem about her experience working with Director Mohamed Samy:

    “Samy was able to visualise the roles really well, I was very lucky to have gotten the chance to work with him.”

    We concluded by asking El Mokkaddem about sexism in the filmmaking industry and how she deals with it, and El Mokkaddem was able to make women proud by saying the following:

    “It’s a battle and struggle, and we women have to fight for our place. We should always fight this battle together and stick with one another. Women are the most precious thing in this world, and people should always remember that.”

    We can safely say after our sit down with El Mokkaddem (organised by Ego Communicate at Rossini Restaurant), that we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us over the coming years.

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