01 March 2024 07:35 AM

Baba Sharo (1912 – 1999)

Monday، 10 January 2000 - 12:00 AM

On January 10th, 1999 Egypt lost one of its most prominent children’s program presenters/producers; i.e. Baba (father) Sharo.

Mohamed Mahmoud Sha’ban, known as Baba Sharo, was born on September 21, 1912 in Al-Raml Square in Alexandria. In 1939, he was graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. Sha’ban studied under the doyen of Arabic literature Dr. Taha Hussein in the Latin & Greek studies department. Immediately after graduation, and as recommended by Dr. Hussein, Sha’ban worked in the Egyptian Radio as a news anchor.

It seems that fate played its hand as always to sharpen Baba Sharo’s interest in children’s programs. Sha’ban presented his program, creatively using music and sound effects while telling the story, to the great satisfaction and admiration of critics and listeners, children in particular. Sha’ban’s program continued for 20 years. Over the period 1940-1960 Sha’ban’s voice has been associated with the thrilling children’s program "Children Talk".

Baba Sharo set the trend of introducing operettas in the Radio such as "Virgin of the spring", "The brunet shepherd", "Dandurmah" (Ice-cream), "The birthday of King Abul-Fassad", and "King Soliman’s treasures". These operettas included living images and were imaginatively written.

He transformed the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights" to a radio drama, directing more than 900 episodes. He also presented a drama entitled "The Songs of al-Asfahanny" based on one of the masterpieces of Arabic literature bearing the same title which was broadcast non-stop for 5 years.

In 1948, Sha’ban was appointed head of thematic programs. Four years later he became director of the Music Programs. In 1971, he was appointed head of the Egyptian Radio. On November 23, 1950 he married the eminent Radio presenter Safia Al-Mohandes.

When he retired from Radio, he was appointed consultant to the Minister of Information for two years.

Baba Sharo received many awards:

- Medal of Merit, 1954;
- Medal of the Republic, 1976.

Also, he received a number of awards and prizes in acknowledgment of his pioneer role in the cultural life by:
- The Catholic Center (1980);
- The Academy of Arts;
- The Arab Center of Documentary and Short Films;
- The Egyptian Radio on its golden Jubilee (1984);
- The National Council for Children’s Culture.

Baba Sharo was chosen as Honorary Head of the 1st and 2nd Cairo Festival for Radio and TV.

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