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Departure of Influential Syrian Filmmaker Omar Amiralay PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sultan Bin Al Owais cultural foundation   
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 10:36

Influential Syrian film director and thinker Omar Amiralay passed away at the age of 65 on Saturday, February 5, 2011. Amiralay's legacy of important documentaries has always been banned in his homeland, Syria. A few days before his death, Amiralay signed a declaration by independent Syrian intellectuals in support of the anti-government street protests in Egypt. Syrian writer and poetess Hala Mohamed said that it was a stroke that claimed Amiralay's life, pointing out that he had not complained of any health problems prior to his death. She added that his death was a great loss and tragedy for the Arab World and not just for Syria, who lost a talented innovator and an acclaimed thinker who greatly contributed to the Syrian Cultural milieu, and established his own brave intellectual and   political stance. Film director Nabeel Al Maleh said: Omar's departure has come as a shock and as an insurmountable loss for different generations. He was an international innovator and professional. His worries about the nation must have contributed to his death, for he was fierce and unyielding in his resistance of official positions that harm the people."
Syrian film director Omar Amiralay was born in Damascus in 1944. His documentaries stand out for their political criticism. From 1966- 1967, he studied Theatre at L'Université du Théâtre des Nations in Paris. He also joined the Higher Institute of Cinema Studies in Paris, but dropped out after the student strikes of 1968. His documentaries include: Film Essay on the Euphrates Dam (1970), A Scent of Paradise (1982), Love Aborted (1983), A Plate of Sardines (1997), and A Flood in Baath Country (2003).

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