JOY Award winners: Samir and Dalal

M. H. Noman, Staff Writer

Returning better than its initial event in 2019 and coming back from its two-year break due to COVID-19, the 2022 JOY Awards brought together the biggest Arab music and film gathering at the Baker Al Sheddi Theater in Riyadh’s Boulevard in Saudi Arabia. The epic, three-hour event organized by Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority awarded more than 20 artists in various fields, including music, film, television, and social media. However, this year there was an exception; an award was added as a tribute to the Arab nation’s beloved duo.

An unfortunate event shocked the Arabic entertainment industry, the deaths of the respected duo, Samir Ghanem and Dalal Abdel Aziz. This news was hard to handle since many loved and respected the pair. The JOY awards presented them to society one last time in tribute to them.  

However, the event’s highlight is when Adviser Turki Al Alshaikh awarded the deceased Ghanem and Aziz, presenting them as a salute to Egypt’s best onscreen couple witnessed by millions. 

In a five-minute video, JOY awards presented the careers and lives of Samir and Dalal, showcasing their work that spread joy across many Arab countries. The married couple died three months apart in 2021 due to COVID, Ghanem died May 20, and Aziz died August 7. Accepting the tribute were their two children, Donia and Amy Ghanem.

Mr. Alalshikh praised Samir and Dalal for their work on the Arabic screen. He commented on Dalal’s love for Samir by stating, “She could not let herself abandon her beloved, and she decided to follow him to heaven.” After saying those words, Donia and Amy lowered their heads to cover their teary faces. While accepting the award, Amy, battling tears, said, “I had a speech prepared, but once I saw the video [of my parents], and the support I got from fans and fellow actresses and actors, my mouth can’t speak…This the first time I really went outside since their passing, and I thank you for remembering them and their work.”

Ghanem and Aziz’s love for themselves and their fans has been passed down to their daughters. The work they’ve done to spread happiness across the Arab nation will forever be remembered, with their daughters now their messengers. Thanks to JOY awards, they were presented to the world for one last time to draw smiles on people’s faces.