Over the course of time, the Arab world has presented some of the most amazing artists of all time. We are a culturally diverse and rich region. However, times change, so do the arts, and the audience. We can agree that old movies with their simple storylines would not have been as successful if they were presented in our modern day. What can we say; times indeed have changed. We’re the new generation of detail oriented critics, and picky choosers. The same goes for the artists, some amazing legendary Arab stars might have not reached fame if they would have been presented in the new millennium we live in today. Here’s a list of celebrities who may not have had success if presented in today’s times to the current audience.

Magda Al-Sabahi


She’s the blonde innocent sweetheart of the silver screen. Dubbed as “the screen virgin” for her consistent acting roles of the innocent damsel in distress, but there are many things about Magda’s acting that might not fascinate today’s audience as she did back then. Many might note how she would overdo the delicate voice act, her melodrama was a bit over the top, and her iconic unexplainable sideways run was absolutely hilarious.

George Wasoof

da sot?! da sot?!

They called him “Sultan Eltareb”. He might have fascinated the crowds back in the 80s, but millennials have failed again and again to find out what tarab they were referring to.

Abdelhaleem Hafez

He was “El3andaleeb”, the amazing voice who changed the history of song in the Arab world. He was the artist who predicted that one day Arabs would slow-dance to Arabic music (wemalo, Amr Diab anyone?!). He’s a music genius. However, he was never an amazing actor, yet all his films would be office-box successes, even those where he’d act the role of a 20-year-old when he was past 40. Today, no matter how much he could have been loved as a singer, it would be no excuse for a half-hearted acting career.

Mervat Ameen

Speaking of Haleem, Mervat Ameen was presented to the crowds starring with him in “Aby Fawq ElShagara”. Besides the weird romance in the film, the honest truth is if it weren’t for Mervat’s looks, she wouldn’t have passed any screen tests. Then again maybe she would have. Still she wouldn’t have hit the audience as the amazing up and coming actress that she was depicted back then.

Om Kolthoum

I know, I know, “Kawkab elsharq”, how dare we offend the magical vocal chords of the East by adding her to such a list. Here’s the thing, there is no denying that Om Kolthoum had a voice of wonder, but not many today would appreciate it. Have a look at the photo above of Om Kolthoum in her younger days. How many people today would be willing to give the simple farm girl, with a head wrap, a chance? Her amazing voice wouldn’t have been appreciated either in the world of fast music. Take a modern example like Amal Maher who’s not even close to the top 10 on the charts. It’s a fact that today strong voices are not appreciated as they don’t blend in with the fast pace of the modern world and chaotic minds we live with today.

Emad Hamdy

ya nena!

Your grandmother’s Prince Charming. Yes, he was the heart throb of the 40s. The fact that you’re probably very surprised by this piece of info says enough. Emad Hamdy might have had a career in today’s acting world, but definitely not as every girl’s Prince Charming.

Kazem El-Saher

“Caesar of the Arab Song”, while we’ll never know what Caesar had to do with songs, there’s no denying the rise of Kazem El-Saher’s stardom in the 90s. Nowadays if you present a millennial with his music, they’ll be questioning his voice and the sophisticated language.

*We would like to note that all names on the list are personal choices of ours and no insult or offense was intended in any way*

Did we miss anyone? Can you think of anyone else that should make this list? Share with us your thoughts!