Other than acting and being a soprano opera singer, prominent late actor Hassan Kamy had a passion for books that he could not hide or keep away. Driven by the urge to document history and open a gate for anyone who is looking for some of the rarest books and documents, Kamy opened his own bookstore in Downtown, which is to be partially sold, according to his closest friend, Haidy Farouk.
“Kamy’s family is currently considering donating some of the library’s rare books to Bibliotheca Alexandria, while putting the others for sale,” Farouk said in a phone call to the morning show “Ra’y Aam”, which is aired on the privately owned TV Channel, Ten TV.
Farouk said that the library, L’Orientaliste (Al Mustashrek), contains some original copies of rare publications which do not exist elsewhere, including parts of a rare book titled “Wasf Masr”.
She also added that the library has the five parts of the Scottish traveller’s James Bruce 18th century book in which he detected and documented the origins of the Nile.
The library also contains some remains of the rare atlases, whose other copies were burned in France during the second world war.
The 19th century old library was built on the hands of a Jewish traveller who wanted it to be a source of rich information for the world’s travellers.
Local media states that the library contains around 40,000 books and portraits.
Kamy died on Friday morning at the age of 82, leaving behind a rich legacy of films and opera performances.
The late actor and opera singer was born in 1936 in a family descending from Muhammad Ali’s dynasty. Following the path of the elite society, he was enrolled in ‘Jesuites’ school before joining Cairo University to study law.
He followed his passion to be an opera singer, and started his soprano career in 1963 when he performed in Aida, at the Khedivial Opera House.
Throughout his career as a soprano singer, he was granted several awards including the third Global Award in operatic singing from Italy in 1969, then the fourth Global Award in 1973, and an award from Japan in 1976.
His opera career witnessed his participation in the biggest Aida performance taking place beneath the Pyramids in 1987, in a performance that witnessed the attendance of 27,000 people throughout eight nights.
He stepped into a bigger hall of fame when he started taking parts in films and TV series at the beginning of the 90’s.