Famous for her beauty and playful style, her acting, both on stage and on the silver screen, and her memorable song and dance performances in Fawazeer on Egyptian TV, Sherihan is finally making a comeback after a long absence. Following a series of painful tragedies that took a toll on her health and wellbeing, and which stopped her successful career in its tracks, the beloved star is returning once again to her adoring fans. Her spirit is unbroken and she is looking forward to resuming her special connection with audiences all over the Arab world.
Sherihan Shalakani, 52 years old, was born into a family of talent. Her well-known brother, the late Omar Khorshid, was a groundbreaking guitarist who achieved tremendous acclaim for his music at a young age; as well as for some successful acting roles, prior to his premature death. As a little girl, Sherihan would often dance along to her brother’s music and watch him act. Realising that his sister had a passion for performing, Khorshid helped Sherihan enter the movie business and was instrumental in her success as a talented, super entertainer.
Sherihan’s fame started at the age of 12, when she first appeared in the movie “Ketta Ala Nar” (Cat on Fire), alongside the legendary actor, Farid Shawky and his co-star, Poussy. Sharing the screen with such famous stars paved the way for Sherihan’s rise in the industry. She acted in one movie after another, reaching over 20 movies in total, including hits like “Raya We Skeena” (Raya and Skeena), “Madam Shalata” (Mrs. Shalata) and “Kesh Malek” (Checkmate). Her ability to get in character for each role was astounding.
Yet, while she was notably successful in movies, Sherihan really made her mark as a T.V. entertainer. With her sensual singing voice, masterful dance moves and playful personality, her name became synonymous with Fawazeer, the nightly musical quiz show that aired during the holy month of Ramadan. Each episode of the show would have a new theme and story line, with Sherihan always the star, dressed in different beautiful costumes each night, singing playful songs and performing creatively choreographed dances. For years, Sherihan’s nightly Ramadan performances were eagerly awaited by viewers all over Egypt and the Arab world. Fans were particularly impressed with her depiction of different Arab characters and her uncanny ability to imitate their accents, sing their songs and dance their folkloric dances, all while enchanting them with her flowing hair and playful personality. Her sensational performances kept her in the forefront of the genre for many years.
Sherihan also achieved amazing success on the stage. She starred in many stage comedies, such as “Sokk Ala Banatak” (Lock up Your Daughters) in 1982, “Enta Horr” (You Are Free) in 1984 and “Alashan Khater Eyounik” (For Your Sake) from 1986 to 1988. She had incredible energy and presence that electrified her audiences, and her dance routines in many of her plays remain unforgettable. Her final and biggest onstage performance was in “Share’ Mohammed Ali” (Mohammed Ali Street), which ran from 1991 to 1994. Her dance routines, her acting and her charisma were incomparable in this long-running hit. Sherihan excelled as an actor and a performer, using her many skills, including her tone of voice and her body language to mesmerise her audiences. They were thrilled as they watched her perform live on stage.
Sherihan was also known for her unique and eye-catching fashion choices. Even when she wasn’t performing, she never failed to amuse us with her bold style. Yet, the all-time favourite Sherihan looks have to be those from her performances in Fawazeer, where she got to dress in every costume imaginable, from mermaid to pharaoh, and often in glittery, sequined gowns and ostentatious accessories. She wore it all with poise.
Sherihan’s makeup was a whole other story. She was known for perfecting the cat-eye look, using eye shadow and eyeliner to complement her beautiful eyes and make them look bigger and full of energy. She was also known to be daring in trying out colours that seemed bold and unconventional. She would add a lot of green and blue to her eyelids, which emphasised her powerful and unique personality. Along with her natural beauty and long, flowing hair, her distinctive makeup added to her persona and charisma.
Yet, away from her success and her exciting performances, Sherihan’s life behind the scenes was quite different and even difficult. At a young age, she had to deal with the tragic death of her older brother, Omar Khorshid, to whom she owed her initial success. Her mother followed him a few years later. Ever since, life kept hitting her hard with more tragedies, but after every fall, Sherihan would pull herself back up and become stronger. Her struggles taught her the importance of determination. Her dedicated fans watched her overcome one challenge after another.
In 1989, Sherihan got into a serious car accident, fracturing her bones and leaving her with the risk of becoming permanently paralysed. It took her three years to recover completely from this near-death experience. However, life still did not get easier for her after that. There were rumours that she may not have been in a car accident at all. It was whispered that the Mubarak family were involved in what had happened to her, based on claims that she was romantically involved with the president’s older son, at the time. Sherihan denied the rumours and the accusations directed at her and the Mubarak family.
Years later, just when things were getting better, in 1997, Sherihan was unjustly accused of killing a young girl in a hit-and-run accident. Fortunately, she was able to prove her innocence by providing proof that she was in London, at the time, for medical treatment. All charges and allegations against her were dropped.
Then, soon after the rumours and false accusations had stopped, Sherihan was diagnosed with cancer. She suffered a tumour on her face, and it took 17 hours of surgery to remove it. With the support of people around her, and her own perseverance, of course, Sherihan was able to overcome her serious illness.
Sadly enough, her hardships didn’t end there. According to some sources, she was stalked and harassed by the police in Tahrir Square in January 2011. Although these claims remain unverified, Sherihan spent the next years avoiding the spotlight. She refused all acting jobs, since they would involve her being in the public eye. She also stopped making any appearances on television and declined all interviews.
Finally, earlier this year, it was announced that Sherihan was making a comeback to television, in a big project with El Adl Group, the details of which remain undisclosed. Her fans were thrilled to hear this, and feedback on social media was very positive. After all, Sherihan remains a true screen icon and a beauty, with style and enormous talent. We are more than excited to see what this strong, remarkable woman has in store for us next.