Bassem Feghali is the most famous female impersonator in the Arab World.
Bassem Feghali is a genuinely talented Lebanese drag queen. He excels mostly in recreating legendary Arab female singers such as Sabaah, Fairouz, Samira Tawfik...but also more contemporary pop divas like Haifa Wehbe , Nawal El Zoghby, Elissa, Nancy Ajram and even the internationally acclaimed Latin star Shakira. Bassem also does an excellent impersonation of Lebanese yoga master Mariam Nour. Not only does Bassem Feghali dress and act like them for the purpose of entertaining the public, but he also skillfully adopts their exact voice timbre to create perfect doubles! His performances resemble more a full standup comedy show, rather than mere character impersonations; He jokes with the public, tells stories and makes up his own lyrics to spoof famous songs. He often also invents weird accessories to add to the overall satirical effect.
On stage, Bassem Feghali is one outspoken unstoppable and hilariously funny entertainer. Once out of his flashy costumes, he re-becomes one simple timid man.
Although homosexuality is not generally tolerated in the Arab World, and famous gay personalities remain in the closet their whole life (the press never openly challenges them on this taboo topic), still drag queens are integral part of Arabic pop culture (movies, TV, Theatre). In many Egyptian movies for example, the leading male actors can be seen casually dressed in a female gender role for humor purposes, sometimes even for the full length of the film!
Bassem Feghali is by far the most celebrated female impersonator in the Arab World. However, other part time drag queens have also left a strong impression on the scene, such as Teta Rozana and Fadia El Cherreka. The artists behind such characters are generally regular actors that are known to do other ordinary acting works.
Bassem Feghali usually performs his sketches at big clubs and theaters across the Arab World, and is often the stage crowd warmer of large music concerts. Feghali is also the guest star at televised Lebanese beauty pageants or award ceremonies (especially on LBC).
Bassem Feghali starred in his very own DVD movie in 2005, presenting Hollywood Stars such as Marylin Monroe, Britney Spears, and many others… He has also shot for LBC a TV Fawazir Ramadan series called ‘Alf Wayle Bi Layle’ (spoof of One Thousand and One Nights). His regular TV appearances have been compiled into a set of 5 DVD volumes.
In 2010, Bassem Feghali appeared in a special TV series on LBC called Kassakiss Antika (Stories of Antika), in which he embodies a fictional character called Antika Sursock. The Agatha Christie wanna-be author is from the old bourgeoisie of Ashrafieh; a class that has lost most of its fortune but is still holding onto its previous lifestyle. Bassem plays most of the other characters on the show, and impersonates famous Arab female celebrities as usual.
Bassem Feghali mini Biography
Bassem Feghali was born on September the 21st 1977 in Wadi Shahrour, Lebanon. In 1996, he was discovered and later on adopted by Simon Asmar; Bassem had taken part in a TV talent show on LBC called Studio El Fan (directed by S. Asmar).
Bassem Feghali won the Golden Medal for his performance under the mimics and comic performers category. He also received an appreciation award presented by Mr. Asmar, the most famous Arab Star Maker at the time.
Feghali then became a regular entertainer at Naher el Founoun (Nahr El Kalb), a famous Theater-Diner under the patronage of Asmar. The joint would mostly feature emerging stars that Asmar was hoping to launch into stardom. Bassem Feghali started by imitating famous celebrities; such as Fayrouz, Sabah, Aayda Abu Jawdeh and Samira Toufic...As years passed by and new stars popped up, Feghali added fresh new names to his portfolio.
Also check Beirut Gay Parade.
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