Kamel Telmisany’s Surrealist Unrest
(University of Ottawa)
The Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspectives
Kamel Telmisany is the eldest of the renowned Telmisany brothers. Born in 1915, Kamel spent the first ten years of his life in a small village north of Cairo, in the family house surrounded with some 60 acres (or feddans) of land owned by his father. His two siblings, Hassan (1923-1987) and Abdel Kader (1924-2003) studied film and photography in Cairo, London and Paris and were pioneers of documentary filmmaking in Egypt. Hassan’s son, Tarek Telmisany, is today a renowned DOP and myself daughter of Abdel Kader, am a novelist and a university professor in film studies.
Five years after he moved to Cairo with his family, Kamel Telmisany graduated from Al-Saeedeya High School, and in 1935, he enrolled in the Veterinary School upon his mother’s request where he spent several years without success. He abandoned his studies in 1941 as he became aware of his artistic vocation. Between 1935 and 1943, Telmisany was an active member of the Egyptian surrealist groups namely Les Essayistes and Art and Liberty group; he contributed to the first three exhibits of The Independent Art (in 1940, 1941 and 1943) as well as to the collective exposition Le Surréalisme, held in Paris in 1947. Telmisany published extensively in both Arabic and French on a variety of art-critic topics including a manifesto on Neo Orientalism (1937) and a series of ground breaking articles on independent art and artistic freedom published in al-Risala, al-Tatawwur, and Don Quichotte, among other magazines.
After eight years of active participation in the visual arts milieu, disenchantment marks the necessary break with the elitism of visual arts and the need to fulfil the project of artistic freedom through a different medium. This is when, in 1943, Telmisany decides to pursue a career in filmmaking; he worked for Misr studios, first as an editor and a story-board writer, then as film director, script writer and executive producer. Between 1945 and 1960, he directed 10 long feature films, the most important of which is The Black Market released in 1945. He also wrote movie scripts and worked as an executive producer on major film productions directed by Youssef Wahbi, Anwar Wagdi and Helmi Halim among others. Film critics and historians (Hadary, Ramzy, Abou Shadi) viewed him as the founder of the realist trend in Egyptian cinema alongside Kamal Selim and Salah Abou Seif. Film festivals and film critic circles in Egypt celebrated in 2015 his centennial anniversary by organizing numerous workshops, conferences and tributes in major cities such as Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor.
In addition to his films, Kamel Telmisany made significant contributions to film theory with two seminal books: America’s Ambassador in Technicolor and Dear Charlie published by Dar el-Fikr in 1957 and 1958 respectively. A reprint of both books by the GEBO brought to the forefront Kamel Telmisany’s views on American cinema with its dual impact on our life and imagination through Hollywood’s dream factory on the one hand and through leftist auteur filmmakers such as Charlie Chaplin (an icon of surrealist humor) on the other hand.
At the age of 46, Telmisany was forced into exile for family -and I suppose political- reasons; he left Egypt in 1961 and settled in Beirut, Lebanon where he worked as a scenographer with the Rahbani Brothers, as a script writer for the Lebanese TV and as a radio producer for the BBC where he wrote a successful program under the title “The London Maqamah”. Other than the scarce information provided by members of the family and friends, we know very little about the last 11 years of Kamel Telmisany’s life and career. After he passed away on March 3rd 1972, my father flew to Beirut to collect his belongings and to attend to the burial rituals. Upon his return, he reported that Kamel’s apartment was looted and his artistic archives sacked. I was born during those 11 years of Kamel’s forced exile in Lebanon; I never met him in person, I was less than 7 years old when he passed away.
SURREALISM VERSUS MODERNITY
Alain Touraine proposes in his Critique of Modernity (1995) a reassessment of the philosophical and economic concept of Modernity as well as the ideology associated with it. “The classical conception, Touraine writes, which is at once philosophical and economic, defines modernity in terms of the triumph of reason, liberation and revolution, and modernization as modernity in action, as a purely endogenous process.” (Touraine, 28) The decline of modernity as a concept and of modernism as an ideology in the twentieth century meant for theorists and thinkers such as Touraine, the necessity of reintroducing the Subject and subjectivation into the discussion of rationalization: “Without Reason, the Subject is trapped in to an obsession with identity; without the Subject, Reason becomes an instrument of might.” (6) He adds: “Modernity has two faces and they gaze at one another; rationalization and subjectivation” (205) And who is the Subject? “The Subject is an individual’s will to act and to be recognized as an actor.” (207) The surrealist movement in Europe and in Egypt articulated a response to modernity that one can view as the rejection of rationalization which led to colonialism, the devastating world wars and the dismantlement of dreams of liberation on the one hand; and on the other hand, the surrealist response addressed the issue of disillusionment by reintroducing the Subject and modes of subjectivation to counter the modernist ideology. In January 1939, the Art and Liberty Group was constituted with three clear objectives: artistic freedom, cultural awareness and contact between Egyptians and the world. Constructing solid bonds between young artists in Egypt and elsewhere was not merely an objective, I argue, but a foundational principle of the group’s anti-modernist philosophy or an interesting antecedent to post-modernist challenges and contestation.
Critics of modernity from Nietzsche to Gilles Deleuze, are aware of its shortcomings. The rule of reason leads to: 1) the system’s dominance over actors; 2) the normalization and standardization of knowledge; 3) the subordination of individual interests (women, children, workers, colonized people) to the interests of a society, a nation, or reason itself; 4) serving the demands of a consumerist society and the perception of society as a market that exacerbates inequalities
Against the system’s dominance over actors, Egyptian surrealists followed on the footsteps of the F.I.A.R.I (la Fédération internationale de l’art révolutionaire independent) as LaCoss pointed in his article of 2010, which globally speaking intersects with Breton’s surrealist stance. Although it is true that Egypt, as Don LaCoss writes, “grappled with cosmopolitan ideas of modernity and modernism on the eve of World War II.” (79), Egyptian surrealists carved a niche within this global art-world not as cosmopolitans (a thesis supported by Lilianne Karnouk) but as independent revolutionary artists. Egyptian surrealists were actors in a specific cultural and political setting, rather than followers in a globalized universalized world of Western ethics; they were, according to LaCoss “a broad-based, non-sectarian alliance of left-wing, modern-minded writers, artists, and radical activists who had been brought together and animated by a cadre of Egyptian surrealists in support of the FIARI platform as concocted by Breton and Trotsky.” (LaCoss, 2010, 84) As a “French and Arabic-language FIARI cell”, explains LaCoss, the Art and Liberty group was also well aware of the “growing nationalist concern among the Egyptian liberal intellectual elites that cosmopolitanism in arts and ideas was a form of cultural imperialism and dependence.” (LaCoss, 90)
On the aesthetic level, they used fragmentation, shocking imagery, free associations and automatism, play, parody and drawing games, such as the exquisite corps (reminiscent of the art of montage) to free the mind, the conscious and the artistic expression from dominant discourses imposed by hegemonic (totalitarian) systems. There, one can identify a deleuzian line of escape (ligne de fuite) through art that forces any system -be it political or ideological- any regime du savoir, to explode from within. The sizzling nature of the surrealist defiance to norms and systems helps refocusing the attention on subjectivity, imagination and action associated with Nietzsche’s will to power and Trotskyist revolutionary methods. “We declare that the individual is in possession of largely unexplored inner faculties, the most important to which is imagination armed with the most marvelous powers, an untapped force of vigor and spirit.” (Long Live the Degenerate Art). This revolutionary approach to independent art, I argue, is anti-modernist in reality and in essence, or at least post-modernist (with a hyphen following Charles Jencks’ definition of the concept or without it as in Ihab Hassan’s definition) where the prefix post and the adjective modernist refer to a process of becoming-revolutionary that surpasses the historical and ideological limitations and shortcomings of modernity or modernism however multiple and un-unified it may be.
Prior to signing the manifesto “Long Live the Degenerate Art”, Henein and Kamel Telmisany collaborated in producing Déraisons d’être, a collection of poems written by Henein and illustrated by Kamel, published in November 1938. The poems and drawings set the tone against classicism and academism in literature and arts, the same way the group’s manifesto stands against crawling Nazi discourses in Europe and among Egyptian elites. Telmisany’s artwork and writings, I argue, constitute a virulent critique of modernity’s celebration of reason especially with its nasty implications on colonized nations and populations. Modernization did not mean for him a rational tabula rasa of traditional bonds, feelings, customs and beliefs; to the contrary, modernization was not the main target, nor was Reason the main drive of his artistic and theoretic production. Democratization of freedom and independence (two values that seemed to be the propriety of Modern Western powers) were best exemplified by the slogans published in La Part du Sable, in 1947: 1) The individual against the tyranny of the state; 2) The imagination against the routine of dialectical materialism; and 3) Liberty against all forms of terror.
Destabilizing modernity through a virulent critique of normalization and standardization of knowledge and art came through modes of contestation, but also through aesthetic choices and tools: surrealist and independent artists resorted to intertextuality (or should we dare intervisuality), intersectionality rather than direct influences and artistic affiliation. In the case of Telmisany artwork, one can identify several connections to several artistic conventions or schools:
- German expressionism of the 1910s and 1920s, especially in lithography and film
Cubism: Picasso’s Weeping Woman, 1937
French expressionism: Georges Rouault (1871-1958)
Another example of modernist normalization and standardization is linked to the use of the adjective cosmopolitan in association with the Egyptian surrealists. In her foundational book, Lilianne Karnouk labels the group: “the Cosmopolitans”, insisting that their “cultural and political insecurity (…) resulted in the expression of ideas in art forms which were essentially a reaction to history” (Karnouk, 32, my italics). In Karnouk’s views, the “cosmopolitans” responded to Nazi Germany and the URSS but their Marxist stand was “an ideology strongly diluted in their case by liberal cosmopolitanism.” (Karnouk, 32)
In other theorists’ opinion, rather than asserting a cosmopolitan identity, the collectivist struggle of the Art and Liberty group was a form of “social expressionism” (Janabi), or it was drawing “from the philosophy of Hegel a belief in freedom, from Marx the interpretation of History, and from Freud the psychological composition of the mind.” (Patrick Kane, 59). In 1939, Telmisany responds to al-Risala’s campaign against independent art by reminding his opponents of the roots of surrealism in Egyptian arts and practices: “Sir, have you not seen the mulid sugar dolls with their four hands? Have you seen the little qaragoz puppets? Have you ever listened to the stories of Umm al-Shu’ur and Clever Hassan and their like from popular folklore? All these, sir, are examples of surrealism.” (cited and translated by LaCoss, p. 99) Telmisany also asserts: “Art does not belong to a particular country” and concludes: “We want a culture that is in concert with the rest of the world” (LaCoss, 99)
In search of this ultimate connection between the self and humanity through art, Telmisany looked for an answer everywhere, beyond national and cultural boundaries: “If I can only find the first traces of a new local art, then I will consider myself an artist” he wrote in 1937. (Cited by Karnouk based on a quotation from Aime Azar, La Peinture modern, 1961, p.33)
Intertextuality can also be ill-interpreted as a form of dilettantism: following Karnouk’s critique of the surrealist movement, these Cosmopolitans adopted anachronistic and dilettantish manners and embraced every wave of isms (expressionism, surrealism, cubism); however, they eventually succeeded in “transforming artistic creativity from outward by social and nationalist themes to a world of inner poetry and self-realization.” (36)
3) subordination of individual interests (women, children, workers, colonized people) to the interests of a society, a nation, or reason itself;
To this, Kamel Telmisany responds in 1939: “Art does not belong to a particular country (…) We want a culture that is in concert with the rest of the world.” (cited by LaCoss, p. 99) Through the exhibits and tens of articles and pamphlets, Telmisany challenged the local canon and dismantled the aura of nationalism in a moment when nationalist sentiments against British occupation and the monarchical system were at their peak. The distinction was clearly made between nationalist politics and anti-nationalism in the arts; Telmisany contends in Al-Tatawwur no. 2: “Nothing is more damaging to an artist than to constrain his work within the boundaries of a specific culture or geographic location.” (cited by Bardaouil, p. 47) Years later, in an article published in Sabah El-Kheir magazine in 1986, Anwar Kamel nuances the group’s discourse over the dichotomy of nationalism/internationalism: “We were Egyptians yet not xenophobic. We were internationalist (‘alamy) yet not anti-nationalist. For us, nationalism was not against internationalism, and vice versa. Both were part of the same significance, part of a universal global concept.”
Georges Henein writes in the journal Don Quichotte, in 1940: “Art does not belong to a territory. Chirico is not more Italian than Delvaux is Belgian than Diego Rivera is Mexican than Tanguy is French than Max Ernst is German than Telmissany is Egyptian. All these men participate in the same fraternal struggle against the logic of the bell tower and of the minaret, which do not know how to raise even a pathetic barrier” (qtd. By Seggerman, qtd. by Alexandrian 29).
4) serving the demands of a consumerist society and the perception of society as a market that exacerbates inequalities
“The assertion that progress leads to affluence, freedom and happiness, and that there is a close connection between these three objectives, is no more than an ideology to which history has constantly given a lie.” (Touraine, 2) Telmisany’s revolutionary discourse on art and freedom often led him to adopt a radical tone, inspired by his radical political views against bourgeois, conformist and nationalist impositions. His contributions to art-critical thought were able to destabilize the canonical parameters of academism and classicism.
However, following the analysis proposed by Sam Bardaouil, display and marketing were fundamental tools used by the Art and Liberty group to assert their worldliness by 1) adopting exhibition design and display by their counterparts in Paris and London in the 1930s; 2) distancing themselves from the local exhibition practices and the main-stream bourgeois-oriented hegemonic cultural system; 3) creating “a classless type of exhibition space” (e.g. Mahmoud Said exhibiting next to less-known artists).
SURREALIST UNREST AS AN ANTI-MODERNIST MOVEMENT OF DETERRITORIALIZATION
Unrest is rooted in the history of French surrealism. Destabilizing norms remains one of the most powerful characteristics of the movement; its founders depict it as a revolutionary movement committed to collective action and to defending the “right of man” (1st issue of the periodical, The Surrealist Revolution, October 1924); a movement which stands against colonialism, imperial wars and “murderous humanitarianism” (1932). Andre Breton’s sporadic periodical Surrealism at the Service of the Revolution (6 issues published between 1930 and 1939) radicalized the political and artistic positions of the group. Telmisany’s swift metamorphosis from a surrealist visual artist into a realist filmmaker, without claiming any of these isms, is a case in point. This radical transformation could be viewed as a way to destabilize the relative success of the movement in Egypt, as collective action was deemed necessary to reach other audiences, less educated, less sophisticated, and less opulent than the increasingly gentrified audience of Egyptian surrealism.
Telmisany left the Egyptian surrealist group in 1943, Henein in 1948, each for different reasons. Politically speaking, Telmisany yearned to reconcile his artwork and his political positions against class cleavages, colonial powers and State corruption. Yet unlike Hassan and Abdel Kader, Kamel was not politically organized; he was not a member of the Democratic Movement of National Liberation (Hadetu) although he sporadically contributed to its film committee; his involvement in the political activities of the Bread and Freedom Marxist group is contested, and his alignment with Trotskyist and Stalinist ideologies unverified. Notwithstanding this, the reasons for Telmisany’s break with surrealism remain political; they can be found in his commitment to socialism at large as well as in his independent personality, his visceral need for freedom and his nomadic (not to say bohemian) way of life. He saw unsolvable contradictions between surrealist practices and audiences and the ideal of “art in the service of society”, an ideal he chose to adopt and bring to completion through the popular art of cinema.
Surrealism was a starting point in his career, a point that lasted for almost ten years during which he was –along with Ramses Younan- the spokesperson of the group in Arabic. He abandoned painting at the peak of his career, in the very moment when his art had matured and his ability to convey the most shocking sensations of surrealist discontent and disillusionment developed.
One cannot help but remember connections with, and reminiscences of, famous cubist figures (such as Picasso’s Weeping Woman) and German expressionist drawings and cinema (such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s deconstructed bodies and Wiene’s Dr. Caligary’s horror cult). Yet despite this obviously intertextual dialogue, Telmisany’s figures, especially in the drawings and lithographs, are gloomier: they are haunted, distressed, haggard, rusty biblical nails and huge crosses stop or burden their movement, no salvation in poverty and suffering; rupture and violence surround their dislocated bodies and fractured skulls. Figures are built in brick, yet they attempt to break free from this oppressive monumentality; they do so through the gaze, through gazes in a state of becoming-multiplicity, facing destruction and despair with poise, or with a hint of resentment. The hands are also expressive and bear a multiplicity of connotations; one can see another hint to German expressionism in cinema (see Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligar, 1920 and The Hands of Orlac, 1924 as well of Murnau’s Nosferatu, 1922) as hands in Telmisany’s drawings obviously bring the attention back on human destructiveness and refocus the viewer’s gaze on immanent repulsiveness rather than on metaphysical salvation or punishment.
Telmisany’s surrealism allows him to study and highlight the peculiarity of the body and soul, especially in female figures (see Desraisons d’etre and other drawings such as Iqbal and Fahima). While the female figure in Desraisons d’etre is captured in a movement of becoming-animal, in association with male heads at her feet and thighs, literally devouring her body with their eyes and mouths, it is as if her choreographic movement frees her body in a unusual way, not an aggressive way, but rather in a peculiar absent-mindedness that will link her in the upper part of the drawing with the stars and the sun. These surrealist juxtapositions and associations inspired by dreams contrast with single figures such as Iqbal or Fahima. Fahima is a real person caught in a surrealist representation: she bears the same type of expression as figures in Desraisons d’etre and Les Hommes oubliés de dieu, yet from a frontal and a less deconstructed perspective. The letter sent to Henein with this drawing and a greeting from Fahima herself, refers to her “moral work” with the public of Nahas Pasha, within the context of the Azbakia “where I can find something of myself at her religious doors where every girl is a sister and every sister is a wife.” (Gharib, p. 161) Those words follow the painter’s gaze and imagination as he draws Fahima with gratitude; a gratitude that is highlighted by her oversized hand, her gigantic almost totemic thighs and the trace of a fainted smile on her slightly turned face.
In his oil paintings, one discovers a darker colour palette, reminding us of Caravaggio and Rouault, with a hint of dramatic disenchantment and profound accusation; the nude’s eyes are either avoiding confrontation or lurking the viewers, looking deeply into the viewers’ mind and soul. In both case, one should “accept Telmisany’s art or reject it all together; it is a weakness to praise mildly! Taking part is a necessity” as Rafu wrote. The critic accepts it because “it communicates emotions which in a short glimpse of life, remain forever out of time…we find ourselves in this art because it is created out of an abstract absolute spirit…this art knows its way to our hearts and bleeds into our soul, into whatever is left of it.” (Gharib, 115-116)
I would like to suggest two CONCLUSIONS or an alternate ending to the official one:
Telmisany’s visual artwork spanned 8 full years, between 1935 and 1943; his drawings and paintings, as rare and powerful as they stand, are understudied and not fully chronicled yet. He is Egypt’s less documented surrealist painter. My paper offered insight into his artwork and -I hope- contributed to a better understanding of what I consider as his “surrealist unrest”.
Tewfik Aclimondos, “Louis Awad (1915-1990): un philosophe ‘iconoclaste’” in Égypte/Monde Arabe, première série, no. 2, 1990, pp. 165-183. http://ema.revues.org/1690#tocto1n4 (accessed 27 October 2015)
Aimé Azar, La Peinture moderne en Égypte. Le Caire: Les Éditions nouvelles, 1961
Ahmad Al-Qassir, Hadetto Zakerat Watan (Hadetto: A Nation’s Memory). Cairo : Dar al-Thakafa al-Guadida, 2009 (print. 238 pages)
Sam Bardaouil, “Dirty Dark Loud and Hysteric”, 2013
Abdul Kader El Janabi, “Art et Liberté, points de repère”, Opus International, n° 123-124, “André Breton et le surréalisme international”, Paris : éd. Georges Fall, avril – mai 1991, pp. 100-101.
Abdul Kader El Janabi, “The Nile of Surrealism : Surrealist activities in Egypt”, Elaph, 8 January 2010. http://elaph.com/Web/Culture/2010/1/521511.htm (accessed 27 July 2015)
Samir Gharib, Al-surrealeya fi Misr (Surrealism in Egypt). Cairo: GEBO, 1986 (print. 239 pages)
Anwar Kamel, “Lakenahom sana’o al-mustaqbal” (Yet they Made the Future), Sabah El-Kheir, Cairo, 18 September 1986.
Patrick M. Kane, The Politics of the Art in Modern Egypt. Aesthetics, Ideology and Nation Building. London, NY: I.B.Tauris, 2013 (print. 247 pages)
Lilianne Karnouk, Modern Egyptian Art. 1910-2003. American University in Cairo Press, 2005 (new revised edition)
Georges Henein, “L’art en Égypte : El-Telmisani”, Don Quichotte, 1940
Neil Levi, “‘Judge for yourselves!’ The ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibition as Political Spectacle”, in October, no. 85, Summer 1998, pp. 41-64.
Jean-Jacques Luthi, “Le Mouvement surréaliste en Égypte”, in Mélusine, n° 3 : “Marges non-frontières”. Paris : Cahiers du Centre de Recherches sur le Surréalisme et L’ ge d’homme, 1982, pp. 18-36. http://melusine-surrealisme.fr/site/Surr-ts-pays/egypte.htm
Jeff O’Brien, “ ‘The Taste of Sand in the Mouth’: 1939 and ‘Degenerate’ Egyptian Art”, Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, 9, Issue 1 2015, pp. 22-34
Franklin Rosemont and Robin D.G. Kelley (eds), Black Brown and Beige. Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora. University of Texas Press, 2009 (print. 395 pages)
Alexandra Dika Seggerman, “ Al-Tatawwur (Evolution): An Enhanced Timeline of Egyptian Surrealism”, in Dada/Surrealism, 19:1, 2013, n.pag.Web.
Nada Shabout, Modern Arab Art. Formation of Arab Aesthetics. University of Florida Press, 2007 (print. 203 pages)
Alain Touraine, Critique of Modernity, Oxford, Blackwell, 1995 (Trans. By David Macey)
Gharīb, Samīr. Al-Suryālīyah Fī Miṣr. Cairo: al-Hayʾah al-Miṣrīyah al-ʻĀmmah lil-
Kitāb, 1986. Print.
Henein, Georges. Déraisons d’être: Images de Kamel Telmisany. Paris: Corti, 1938.
———. “Long Live Degenerate Art.” London Bulletin 13 (1939).
———, and Ramses Younan. Notes sur un Acèse hysterique. Cairo: Part du Sable,
Khalil, Andrea Flores. The Arab Avant-Garde: Experiments in North African Art and
Literature. Westport: Praeger, 2003. Print.
———. “The Myth of the False: Ramses Younan’s Post-Structuralism Avant La
Lettre.” The Arab Studies Journal 8/9.2/1 (2000): 97–110. Print.
LaCosse, Don. “Art and Liberty: Surrealism in Egypt.” Communicating Vessels 21
(Fall-Winter 2009–2010): 28–33. Print.
Telmissany, Kamel el-. “Ḥawla al-Fann al-Munḥaṭ.” Al-Risālah: Majallah Usbūʻīyah
Lil-Ādāb Wa-al-ʻulūm Wa-al-Funūn 7.321 (1939): 1700–03. Print.
———. “Al-Insāniyah wa al-Fann al-Ḥadīth.” Al-Tatawwur 2 (1940): 45–48. Print.
———. “L’Art en Egypte,” Don Quichotte 17 (29 March 1940).
———. Al-Soūq al-Soūdaʾ. Studio Misr, 1945. YouTube. http://youtu.be/
9zDNciFDbhc. 6 Aug. 2013. Web.
KAMEL TELMISANY ARTICLES
Neo Orientalism Manifesto, 1937
Nahwa Fanen Hor, Al-Tatawwur, no. 1, January 1940, pp.
Al-Maarad al-awal lel fan el-hor, Al-Tatawwur, no. 3, March 1940, pp. 39-46
Articles about Telmisany
Ramses Younan, “Telmisany’s Exhibit” in Al-Magalla al-gadida, no. 403, P. 9
Etienne Muriel, Catalogue, Exhibition 24 February-6 March 1941, Tout Bookstore, 27 Suleiman Pasha st. Cairo
not only it allowed him to embrace the Egyptian artistic and intellectual experiences within the wider context of rebellious western political thought and action; but it helped the group articulate its thought and gear its action towards a better integration in the Egyptian artistic landscape.
«يقال ان النسيان نعمه.. وهو نقمه.. وانا احب قطعه النقود الفضيه الحامله لصوره فاروق ولا انساها.. واحب ان تاتي لي كثيرًا في حسابي عندما اشتري شيئا.. انها تذكرني دوما بصوره الملكيه وصوره الاستعمار، واحتفظ بقطعه النقود التذكاريه للجلاء.. ولتاميم القناه.. صور الجمهوريه والتحرير، احتفظ بها لاولادي -فقد اُرزق يوما اولادا- والا فسيكون كل ما اتركه لورثتي.. بعد عمر طويل، وها انت تري اني اترك لهم ثروه ضخمه علي كل حال.. امل الا اضطر الي التصرف فيها يوما».
Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Centenial 20 September 2015
Luxor Film Festival, January 2015