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Muna Wassef speaks about her 60-year-experience before the students of Higher Institute of Performing Arts in Damascus

The Higher Institute of Performing Arts in Damascus held on Wednesday a dialogue with the famous Syrian stage, film and television actress Muna Wassef, who is likened to “the Oak of the Syrian Drama” in the presence of the Minister of Culture Lubana M’Shawwah and the institute’s students.

The goal of dialogue is to help students have an idea about the experiences of  creative actors and actresses and to enable them to be stars without becoming arrogant or disappointed.  

Wassef, who was born on 1 February 1942, is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and an icon in the Arab World and the Middle East. She is credited with acting alongside Egyptian actor Salah Zulfikar in her career debut in Memory of a Night of Love (1973). Wassef had become the highest-paid actress in the Arab World since the end of the 1970s until the year 2000. She is the first Syrian woman to receive the Syrian Order of Civil Merit-Excellent Degree in 2009.

Wassef has done more than 30 films, including:

  • Memory of a Night of Love (1973)
  • Another Face of Love (1973)
  • al-Yazirli (1974)
  • The Adventure (1974)
  • The Opposite Direction (1975)
  • The Message (1976)
  • The Red, The White and the Black (1976)
  • Heroes are Born Twice (1977)
  • Photo Relics (1979)
  • Fragments - UN RESTE D'IMAGES (1980)
  • Sun on a Hazy Day (1986)[6]
  • Something is Burning (1993)
  • The Sea (1994)
  • Al Sadeqan
  • Al Les Al Zareef
  • Maqlab Men Al Makseek
  • Emrah Taskn Whdaha
  • Zekra Laylit Hob
  • Al Ahmar Wa Al Abyad wa Al Aswad
  • Al Etejah al Moakes
  • Al Taleb
  • Al Bazerki
  • Baqaya Swar
  • Al Shams Fe Yawm Ghaem
  • Ah Ya Bahr
  • Shaya Ma Yahtareq
  • The Shadows of Silence (2007)
  • Menahi (2008)


In 1974, Syrian-American film director Moustapha Akkad chose her to play the role of Hind in the Arabic version of his movie Al Risalah Mohammad, Messenger of God, which helped her achieve international recognition, with Anthony Quinn, and Irene Papas in the English version.

It is worth mentioning that although Wassef did not finish high school, she educated herself and learned to present the majority of her works in Classical  Arabic. She studied masterpieces of world literature, Quranic Tajwid and Tartil, and reciting poetry.

She traveled to East Germany in 1973 where she took acting courses at the Brecht theater. Working with the Syrian Military Theater allowed her to develop her acting skills further. 

Basma Qaddour