Saturday, November 27

Al-Masry Effendi.. An Egyptian figure who fought corruption and colonialism in the 20th century

Cairo- The English painter Strobe was not aware that his satirical drawing in the British Daily Express would pave the way for the exit of “Al-Masry Effendi”, one of the most famous caricatures since the 1930s in Egypt, specifically in 1932, where Strobe painted the image of the small fat man wearing the well-known cowboy hat. In his hand is an umbrella.

Strobe’s drawing attracted the attention of Professor Mohamed El-Tabi’i, one of the pioneers of the Egyptian press, and Mrs. Fatima El-Youssef, known as “Rose El-Youssef”, owner of Rose El-Youssef magazine, one of the most famous press releases at the time. At that time, such as attacking the Wafd Party and Saad Zaghloul during the 1920s.

In order to clarify the motives behind the attitudes of Al-Tabi’i and Al-Youssef, Fatima says in her book “Zikkirat”: “(Kashkol) was drawing the character of Juha, and we wanted to have another character, and we had a group of caricatures from foreign newspapers. Effendi wears a hat and holds an umbrella in his hand. We borrowed his character after we put the fez on him and put the rosary in his hand, and “Roukhan” began drawing “Al-Masry Effendi.”

Hence, Rose El-Youssef decided, with the global development of caricatures in newspapers, to use it to fuse the character of “Al-Masry Effendi” into a purely Egyptian image by the caricaturist Alexander Sarukhan, who laid the foundation stone for the drawing at the behest of Al-Youssef and Al-Tabee, after the Egyptianization of Strobe’s drawing, to replace two rockets with a cowboy hat. The famous Egyptian fez at the time, and made him wear glasses to make his shape replete with his Egyptianness, next to the rosary in his hands as an alternative to an umbrella.

Egyptian painter Effendi

It is noteworthy that Sarukhan is one of the pioneers of caricature art in Egypt, as he was an Armenian refugee who fled the conflict with the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, where he settled in Vienna and from there to Egypt, which was home to many Armenian refugees.

Sarukhan’s creations have appeared in Egyptian newspapers and magazines since the thirties of the last century, similar to the Armenian cinema magazine in 1925. Then Sarukhan meets, editor-in-chief of Rose al-Youssef al-Tabi’i, in 1927 after his descent to Egypt and creates the character of Masri Effendi in 1932.

With the establishment of two rockets in Egypt and the glow of his caricature activity, the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser granted him Egyptian citizenship in 1955, and recognized him as a pioneer of political caricature, especially with his contributions.

Echo and feedback

The character of “Al-Masry Effendi” overlapped with the political movement in Egypt, and sparked several crises. For example, two “Al-Masry Effendi” missiles were painted, grilled alive by the government of Ismail Sidqi Pasha, to signify mismanagement and to suggest the idea of ​​the absence of social justice, which He angered the government at the time and ordered Sedky Pasha to arrest two rockets and summon him to the investigation authorities.

However, two rockets managed to get out after he suggested to the investigator that he meant that the government was putting out the fire of Al-Masry Effendi.

Saroukhan and Rose El-Youssef’s quarrels with the authority at the time were not limited to this point, according to the book “Rose El-Youssef .. and the Egyptian Effendi described Egypt as a caricature,” by the late journalist Rashad Kamal, where the caricature was a whip on the back of any official criticizing him, which appears after the government Ismail Sidqi, specifically during the period of Abdel Fattah Yahya, the late Prime Minister, who sent two missiles to a high-ranking official threatening him with imprisonment if he continued to paint shabby clothes.

Yahya’s anger at the time was due to the fact that two missiles he drew standing in front of Al-Masri Effendi measuring his suit and asking him: “What do you think, Egyptian Effendi, of the new suit?” (If you want the truth.. it is better for you to let go of the two.” (Leaving both).


The character of “Al-Masry Effendi” continued in Rose Al-Youssef magazine, until it gained great fame, and perhaps the most prominent thing that gained her great privacy was her expression of the situation of the street in a sarcastic and simple way instead of political projections against the occupation and the expression of the Egyptians’ struggle against it, which increased the character’s fame even after Two rockets then moved to work in Akher Sa’a magazine with Muhammad al-Tabi’i, after the latter founded it due to a dispute with Rose al-Youssef, to take two rockets with him in the magazine in 1934.

However, the character of Al-Masry Effendi, remained in Rose El-Youssef, and two rockets could not use it, due to the existence of an old report that included a confession from Sorokohan that Rose El-Youssef was the owner of the character.

According to writer and author Rashad Kamel in his book “Rose Al-Youssef and Al-Masry Effendi.. Describing Egypt as a Caricature”, the fame of Al-Masry Effendi’s personality during the fifties led to Rose Al-Youssef magazine, dedicating independent pages within the magazine in the form of a newspaper called Al-Masry Effendi, which is a weekly political newspaper. A photographer, who used to raise the slogan “The People for the People and for the People.” Also, a new door appeared on Rose Al-Youssef’s pages, which was edited by Al-Masri Effendi with zajal called “Ala Rababah”, where he holds the rabab and says a zajal related to a personality or cause or directs a speech.

After Al-Tabi’i and two missiles separated from Rose Al-Youssef, a special magazine appeared in the name of Al-Masry Effendi, edited by Al-Tabi’i and Ali Amin. Al-Masry Effendi was used for a long time by the artists Zuhdi El-Adawy, Ahmed Thabet Toghan, Abdel-Sami’ Abdullah, and Muhammad Abdel-Moneim Rakha, who joined two rockets in today’s news later, so that the character of El-Masry Effendi would continue for a long time as an expression of a man in the street.

The fame of Al-Masry Effendi was not limited to newspapers and magazines, as it also went out to the field of cinema and television, showing the movie Al-Masry Effendi starring Hussein Sedky, Madiha Yousry and Ismail Yassin in 1949.

Al-Masry Effendi’s personal caricature (networking sites)

The disappearance of the Egyptian Effendi

“The twentieth century was closely associated with caricatures, as this era was considered the golden era for this type of art, due to the absence of radio, television and cinema and the entry of these entertainment elements after that,” says Ibrahim El-Sayed, a plastic artist in press statements, explaining the growing interest in cartoons in Egypt during that period.

He asserts that the cartoon presented by Sarukhan and other cartoonists was considered a cultural product with pictures, words, jokes and political stances, which was considered the only source of entertainment during this period, in contrast to the current period in which all kinds of audio-visual entertainment spread, which explains the fame And the privacy enjoyed by a character like Al-Masry Effendi in particular, and caricatures in general.

Al-Sayed believes that the character of Al-Masry Effendi was explaining the political and social situation that Egypt was witnessing since the mid-thirties and even after this period, which was witnessing transformations and changes in Egyptian politics, which was expressed in a satirical drawing, making the caricature an open historical book of what it contained. of events.

According to the late writer Rashad Kamel in his book, although the Egyptian Effendi had a presence since the beginning of the thirties and through the forties and fifties, the character disappeared and disappeared from view, as the last person to draw the Egyptian Effendi was the Egyptian caricaturist known as Abdel Samie Abdullah, who drew the character in a magazine Rose Al-Youssef, after two rockets and a rock, at the request of Ihsan Abdel Quddus.

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