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El Sayed Hassan Gomaa

( ? -  Reportedly between 1957 & 1959)

El Sayed Hassan Gomaa

El Sayed Hassan Gomaa belongs to the earliest Alexandrian generation of film critics; in fact, he is considered the first cinema critic in Egypt and the Arab world.

After El Sowar el Motaharika, the first cinema magazine, was no longer issued in Cairo, he decided along with a number of  amateur friends, such as Mohamed Abdel Latif and Abdel Qader Baraka to start a magazine, Ma‘rad el Cinema, in 1924. It was established in Ramleh Station Street in Alexandria. Gomaa took part in editing this magazineand he and his friends published their articles in it. It is considered the first specialized cinema magazine in Alexandria and the second in Egypt, as the first cinema magazine, El Sowar el Motaharika, was issued in Cairo in 1923. This magazine was only issued 3 times: on 17 December and 24 December 1924, and on 18 April 1925. After its disappearance, he issued a low-budget one, Kawkab el Cinema, in the school he was working in. He used to approach the production and distribution companies in Alexandria for news and photos which he could incorporate in his magazine.

After that, he issued a newsletter called Al'aeb el Cinema in Alexandria. He also took an active role in founding Mena film, which was a club for the lovers of cinema in Alexandria. It was established in 1926 in Alexandria and it issued a newsletter.

After the establishment of Condor film in Alexandria by Ibrahim and Badr Lama, Gomaa contacted them and took part in the shooting of their first film A Kiss in the Desert (Qoublah fi-l-sahrâ'). He sent news about the progress of the film to El Balagh el Esbou‘i. He also worked as an assistant in their second film A Tragedy on the Pyramid (Fâgui‛ah fawq el haram). After Condor film moved to Cairo, he became the editor-in-chief of 'Alam el Cinema which was issued in Alexandria in 1929.

His professional career began in 1930 when he joined Dar el Helal in Cairo. He started supervising and writing in El Kawakeb which was established in 1932 as a supplement to El Mossawer, and assisted Fikri Abaza, the editor of El Mossawer. Though the move to Cairo signaled the beginning of his professional career, it made him leave Alexandria, his native city.

His articles reveal the extent and range of his interest in the cinema and how knowledgeable he was in all its areas.

Article Written by El Sayed Hassan Gomaa