Muna Wassef

Muna Wassef منى واصف
Born Muna Mustafa Wassef Jelmran
(1942-02-01) 1 February 1942
Damascus city, Syria
Notable work Hind bint Utbah
Spouse(s) Muhammad Shahin
Children Ammar Abdulhamid
Awards The Syrian Order of Merit-Excellent Degree.

Muna Wassef (Mona Wassef, Mouna Wasef) (منى واصف) is a Syrian stage, film and television actress. She was born on 1 February 1942, as Muna Mustafa Wassef Jelmran. She is also a United Nations Goodwill ambassador.[1] Wassef is an icon in the Arab world and the Middle East. Wassef had become the highest-paid actress in the Arab World since the end of the 1970s until the year 2000; now she is one of the highest-paid actresses. Wassef is the first Syrian woman to receive the Syrian Order of Merit-Excellent Degree in 2009.[2][3]


Muna Wassef was born in 1942 in Damascus. Her parents were both Syrians. Her mother was Christian and her father was a kurd When she was 15 she worked as a cotton candy (Ghazl Al Banat) seller in the streets of Damascus. By the age of 16, she worked as a women's clothes saleswoman for one of Syria's most famous fashion designers at that time, and when she turned 17 she was already working as a fashion model for the same designer, at the same time becoming a popular folk dancer in a group called Omaya. [4]


Although Wassef did not finish high school, she educated herself and learned to present the majority of her works in Standard 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.

Early career

In 1960, Wassef submitted herself for a contest in which they chose actresses for the Military theater, which was part of the Syrian Ministry of Defense. She worked and learned there for about 2 years. In 1963 she married the Army General Muhammad Shahin, who was a film director as well. She worked in the symposium of Art and Thought which was sponsored by Dr. (Rafeq Al Sabagh) in presenting Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in 1963.

In 1964 she joined the Group for Dramatic Arts and starred in stage productions of the National Theater: productions such as Molière's Don Juan. This signaled the beginning of a very important stage in her career.[5]

Theater career

In theater, Muna Wassef, has starred in more than 25 plays by Arab and international playwrights. Her first play was Al Etr Al Akhdar wics. After that, she performed several plays in the Military Theatre inside the military units including:

Film career

Muna Wassef (the second from right ) and the Cast of Al Resala ( the message) Film

In film, Wassef has done more than 30 films, including:

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.

Television career

Muna Wassef attended the 2009 Doha Tribeca Film Festival

Every year Wassef stars in at least two or three TV series. She has done more than 200 series including:

Ramadan 2008

Muna stars in Seraa Ala El Remal (Arabic صراع على الرمال or Wars on Sand). The television series also stars Syrian actors Taim Hasan, Sabah Mubarak, Hasan Awaytti and Basil Khayat and is directed by Hatem Ali and written by Hany El-Saady. The series is a major TV production. It was produced by Dubai Media Incorporated. Its estimated cost is over $6 million. So far it is the most expensive Arabic TV production ever, and it was released in September 2008. The series, which is based on the vision and poetry of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a Bedouin epic that takes place in the Persian Gulf Bedouin desert at the beginning of the 18th century.

Ramadan 2009

In Ramadan 2009 Muna Wassef takes over the Arab television. She stars in 4 huge productions. The main one is the most watched TV show in the Arab World ever, Bab Al Hara. She plays the role of a Christian woman who leads the female revolution in Damascus.

Radio career

Muna Wassef presented some works in Radio as :

In addition to so many poetic evenings and programs.

Personal life

Muna Wassef, and her late husband military general and Film Director Muhammad Shahin,their son Ammar Abdulhamid and his wife Khawla.

Wassef was married to the late Syrian film Director Muhammad Shahin, and together they formed one of the Arab world's most popular celebrity couples. They have one son Ammar Abdulhamid, who lives in the United States, Washington, D.C., with his wife Khawla, daughter Oula (b. 1986) and son Mouhanad (b. 1990), both work in the public policy and humanitarian aid fields.

Currently, Wassef divides her time between her artistic career and her interest in issues pertaining to the emancipation of women in the Arab world.


Muna Wassef and Ban Ki Moon

Among the many honors and awards that Wassef has received:

And many other awards received in Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Muna is often invited to Arab countries every year, to lecture and attend festivals, seminars, and conferences including:

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