Travelling Light Helps Sally Direct a Life and Career of Success; TheBIGInterview from an Upbringing That Took in Both Welsh and Egyptian Cultures, Sally El Hosaini's Life Has Been One of Contrasts. She Tells KIRSTIE McCRUM about the Path That's Taken Her across the World from the Pyramids to Windsor Castle Via Gower

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Travelling Light Helps Sally Direct a Life and Career of Success; TheBIGInterview from an Upbringing That Took in Both Welsh and Egyptian Cultures, Sally El Hosaini's Life Has Been One of Contrasts. She Tells KIRSTIE McCRUM about the Path That's Taken Her across the World from the Pyramids to Windsor Castle Via Gower


Byline: KIRSTIE McCRUM

Growing up in Egypt sounds like a thrilling childhood - riding horses in the desert and visiting the Pyramids would dazzle most of us. But for award-winning film maker Sally El Hosaini, growing up in the Middle East with all of the benefits that promised paled into insignificance when held against the land of her mother.

It was this Welsh heritage, coupled with her firm roots in Egypt but a sense of not quite belonging to either culture, which has gone on to inform her work.

In fact, her film My Brother the Devil, which is released on DVD on Monday, could be seen as the culmination of her life's journey which has seen her study Arabic, make documentaries about the war in Iraq and even wear the Muslim hijab for a year in order to be able to connect with the cultures she's so enthralled by.

To understand what drives her, it's important to be familiar with her rich biographical history.

Born in Swansea to a Welsh mother and Egyptian father who met in Liverpool in the 1960s, Sally was a regular visitor to her mother's family home, trips that she still remembers with excitement.

"My parents met in university and moved back to Cairo, but we used to come back for summer holidays to Swansea to see my grandmother and my mum's family. I was so excited about Joe's Ice Cream and sweets and watching cartoons," she remembers.

In fact, Sally likes to share her Welsh claim to fame which nearly saw her being part of the Joe's Ice Cream dynasty.

"My great-grandmother Irene Elizabeth Rice lived in the street behind Joe's Ice Cream parlour. Her husband died of pneumonia shortly after World War I, leaving her widowed with two young girls to bring up. Joe Cascarini had recently arrived from Italy and opened the parlour and he and my great-grandmother had a romance. Joe lived with his sister above the shop and my grandmother as a little girl would make his salads every day and remembers pouring lots of oil on them.

"Joe proposed to my great grandmother, but in those days marrying a 'foreigner' wasn't acceptable, especially since she was already a widow. So she never remarried.

"Whenever I would visit the ice cream parlour as a child, I would wonder how my life would've been different if my great grandmother had married Joe. Unfortunately I have to pay for my ice cream now - but it is the best in the world," she adds.

Living in Cairo until she was 16, Sally, now 36, went to school in Egypt and says she felt quite removed from her Arabic roots.

"We spoke English at home and I went to an American school in Egypt, which definitely set me apart, because I was always half not from there."

As a child, she remembers her parents as both committed to their jobs and to her own education.

"My father was a civil engineer and a university professor. My mum was a teacher at my school. When I was about eight years old I came in the bottom two in my year for maths and she was mortified because she was a maths specialist. She spent the whole summer forcing me to learn the mathematics curriculum for the following year," she smiles.

It was when her parents sent her away from the family home she shared with her two brothers, Tarrick and Sherif, and sister Heidi to study at UWC Atlantic College in Llantwit Major that Sally first felt able to embrace her roots, both Welsh and Egyptian.

"Atlantic College was the perfect thing to happen to me, because I was at that age where I was ready to be independent.

"It's a really special place because you're focusing on learning about people and their cultures rather than just academics. I was there for two years and I look back on it as a wonderful time."

Sally found that at Atlantic College she was able to learn much more about where she came from, thanks in part to a project which took her to Cardiff.

"We had these project weeks and each time I chose to focus on something very Welsh. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Travelling Light Helps Sally Direct a Life and Career of Success; TheBIGInterview from an Upbringing That Took in Both Welsh and Egyptian Cultures, Sally El Hosaini's Life Has Been One of Contrasts. She Tells KIRSTIE McCRUM about the Path That's Taken Her across the World from the Pyramids to Windsor Castle Via Gower
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.