Cinema, or motion pictures, is known as ‘the art of the moving image’. Historically, fine arts have never been prohibited by the three monotheistic religions, but after the emergence of cinema, some religious leaders not only considered it ‘undesirable’ but also called for its outright prohibition. However, no consensus has ever been reached among jurists. Cinema is a universal language and a method of narration, recounting and storytelling whose popularity exceeds that of any other art as it is more entertaining and bedazzling. Egypt was a pioneer among Arab countries in the field of cinema, producing immortal films that addressed the sufferings and concerns of its people in an artistic manner. Throughout the history of Arab cinema its trends have varied from realism and neo-realism to biography, which was introduced by Youssef Chahine. Moreover, the evolution of cinema in Arab countries, notably Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon, could not have been achieved without breaking taboos and tackling problematic issues within society.

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