Narjis Obad on Being an Actress in Yemen [Archives:1998/02/Last Page]

January 12 1998

Ms. Narjis Hussein Obad is an actress and theater director as well a TV presenter and producer. She received an M.A. degree in theater direction and another degree with distinction in acting in 1987 from the Belurus Arts Institute in the former Soviet Union.
“I started performing in the theater when I was an elementary level student,” said Narjis. The television later invited her to work in a program called “Problem and Solution.” This was her starting point. Narjis played the roles of poor, rich, young, domineering and jealous woman as well as Queen Arwa. “I had the honor to act with famous actors in the Aden Oil Refinery Troupe*, which enhanced my start, encouraged me to play serious roles, and associated my career with drama education.”
What does it take to become an actress? Narjis explained that acting needs ability, seriousness, accumulation of theatrical traditions, government and theatrical support, good technical capabilities and suitable texts to be adapted to the theater. Narjis Obad said about her education and her career in the dramatic arts: “My university study is very helpful. My education and knowledge of international drama has largely consolidated my career.” She translated her M.A. thesis about the work of the famous Russian author Istrovsky and adapted it for theater. “I also dealt with works of European authors such as Noshta and Hotchiki and Arab authors such Mahfoodh Abdulrahman and many other Yemeni authors including Mohammed Ahmed Al-Shamiri.” Narjis also participated in several theater, TV and radio dramas in Syria, Egypt and Iraq. “I did a successful program in Oman called “Poetry is the Domain of Arabs” in 1992. Narjis presents a weekly variety program at the Yemeni satellite channel called “Tour and See,” which is prepared by her sister Ibtihal Obad who is a TV announcer. “Women do not have a sizable share of the artistic and cultural life of the country. Because of the shortage of actresses, I find myself having to direct and to act as well. I think that it is very important for women to be more involved in the theater and other arts.” “I thank the General Federation of Yemeni Women which gave me the chance to study in Russia.” Last but not least, Narjis is married with 3 daughters. Her sister Fardoos is a doctor and Ibtihal is a TV announcer. Her only brother Hisham is still a university student. Their mother, who is a seamstress, encouraged and supported them. Also, she implanted within them a whole-hearted devotion to hard work.
* The Aden Oil Refinery Troupe is a group of actors working within the oil refinery in little Aden. It was established at the end of 1950.