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Egypt has had a strong cinematic tradition since the 1930s. Egypt has the only major motion picture industry in the Arab world, with Cairo is its capital.

The influence of the Egyptian cinema on the Arabs is as profound as that of the American cinema on the rest of the world. The golden age of Egyptian cinema was in the 1940s and 1950s. During that period Omar Sharif emerged as a major international star and his former wife, Fatin Hamama, reigned as the queen of Arab cinema.

Directors such as Youssef Chahine have gained wide respect internationally and many of Egypt's leading literary lights, including Tawfiq Al Hakim and Naguib Mahfouz, have written for the cinema.

Today, the reigning superstar of the Egyptian cinema is comedian Adel Emam, whose political satire has earned him the respect of serious filmgoers  and occasionally ire of the government. Other film stars include Ahmad Zaki, Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and Yusra.

The modern atmosphere of profiteering and heavy entertainment taxes has served to drastically lower the standards of modern Egyptian cinema.


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