There has been a rise of young actors in Egypt, and it’s nothing but refreshing. The diversity of the newer generation and the passion they all have for the art of acting is nothing but a delight.
One actor that caught our eye recently is Alaa Arafa.
Luckily, we got to chat with the young actor to know more about him.
We first noticed Alaa Arafa in Segn El-Nessa, 2014, where he played Noha El-Amrosy’s rich spoiled drug addict son. We slightly hated him.
However, it wasn’t until the hit series Al Ekhteyar, which aired in Ramadan of 2020, that we got to see Arafa in his full acting glory.
“Playing action roles is what I would love to specialise in, which is why Al Ekhteyar was the perfect role for me,” said Alaa Arafa about his role.
Arafa portrayed First Lieutenant Abdel Razek, one of the officers close to the martyr Ahmed Al-Mansi.
“I agreed to the role as soon as I got it. Just to be able to pay respect to all the hard-working men of the army, and their families, was more than enough for me.
I remember my personal time in the army, and while, of course, it wasn’t as tough as it was for the men we portrayed in the series, it was still life-changing for me.”
Born in August 1991, Alaa Arafa graduated from the American University in Cairo Department of Architecture and Theater Department.
“At the AUC, we’re allowed to have a major and a minor study, and I was lucky to be able to study both of my passions.”
While studying, starting in 2009, he appeared in advertisements as a model and has worked with many directors and actors; including Ahmed Nader Galal, Sherif Arafa, Marwan Hamed, and the stars Ahmed Helmy, Ragaa El Geddawi, and Mimi Jamal.
After graduation, he was starting a career in architecture and in the corporate life, but things changed quick for him.
“As soon as I graduated, I went to get my paper done work and the ID from the syndicate. Then I started working, and three days in, I got a role offer and resigned from the corporate life.”
Then he began to appear in the Egyptian drama series in 2013.
With that said, Arafa was a wildcard in the industry.
“I just wanted to be near the camera. I would work as an assistant producer or an assistant director. I even worked as an art director for a while. I was okay with anything that would get me on set.
I do still work as an architect and run my own studio, but the film industry is something I want to be in as well. It’s a tough balance, but I’m very passionate about both and I make it work, somehow.
Still, Alaa Arafa managed to get involved in several jobs in the field, at a young age, and without years of experience.
Working in the industry is not easy. It’s a cutthroat business with so many replacements and people who would kill to take your place.
“I realised that after I studied architecture, and got involved in the film industry more, that there are more similarities between both fields that I would have imagined.
From project or crisis management, they’re all the same anywhere you go.”
Alaa still sounded passionate about both fields. It didn’t seem like studying architecture was really a waste of time for the young actor.
“Both architecture and the film industry are methods of art. It’s just a different medium. As long as you have an artistic vision, it doesn’t matter if you’re making a mood board as an architect, or as an art director.”
While speaking with Alaa, he had a very matter of fact opinion about the similarities between acting and being an architect.
“In both professions, you create something out of nothing. Whether it’s a building or an acting role, you’re still the creator of both. They’re both arts.”
Alaa Araf’s art experience didn’t just stop there.
His recent performance in the TV series “Gamal el Hareem” has been causing quite a buzz.
In a more romantic role, Arafa has been the relief for a somewhat dark series.
“This role as very different from what I’ve done before. I even had to learn to play the violin for it”.
Aired in December 2020, Gamal El-Hareem is a horror and suspense series, a broadcaster becomes involved in an unfamiliar world while trying to help her friend is possessed. She later finds herself in the world of jinn and ghosts.
It’s hard to guess what the future holds for Alaa, and he wants to go with the flow, as well.
“While I would like to have more roles in Action, and to have this genre as my speciality, I just want to play good roles, whatever they are.”