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Egyptian Film Director Mustafa Dies

February 23, 2000

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Husam el-Din Mustafa, an American-trained film director who created about 100 films and dozens of popular Egyptian soap operas, died Tuesday. He was 74.

Mustafa died in his Cairo home from a stroke, according to the Middle East News Agency.

He began his career as an assistant to American director Cecil B. De Mille. Mustafa graduated from the University of Southern California in 1951 before assisting De Mille in the film ``The Greatest Show on Earth.″

On his return to Egypt in 1956, he directed his first film, ``Enough, My Eyes,″ a tragedy that introduced him as a serious director and producer.

Among his prize-winning movies are ``The Bullet Still in My Pocket,″ about the 1973 Arab Israeli War, along with ``Enemy Brothers″ and ``The Devils.″

``By himself, he was a school in the movie art who advanced Egyptian cinema,″ said actress Nadia Lutfi, who starred his 1963 film, ``The Black Glasses.″

Mustafa earned the wrath of many pan-Arabists when he visited Israel several times after the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace accord. He urged fellow artists to visit as well, a a move he said would encourage peace between Arabs and their Jewish neighbors.

His soap operas were mostly historical, dealing with events in the early centuries of Islam. Hid better-known soap operas included: ``The Knights,″ ``The Heroes,″ ``Ibn Hazm″ and ``The Age of The Imams.″

Mustafa had been working on a popular television series, ``The Eagle of the East,″ about the Muslim military leader Saladin, who drove back crusaders from the holy land in Palestine in the 12th century.

A funeral was held Tuesday in Cairo. Mustafa is survived by his wife, Nadia, and a daughter, Jihan.

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