Ahmed Ibrahim
3 min readApr 20, 2024


Nora Armani The Multi-Talented Star

Nora Armani

Nora Armani (real surname Ekserjian, August 31, 1956, Giza, Egypt), Armenian actress of theatre and cinema, director, and an honorary member of the National Academic Theater named after Gabriel Sundukyan, laureate of the Yerevan Theater Festival.

Nora studied at the Nubarian National school in Cairo and then attended an English school. She graduated from the American University in Cairo, studying sociology and theatre. Then she studied at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She received her theatre education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London (RADA), at the University of California (UCLA).
She followed various theatre programs in Paris and London, working with Irina Brook and her father's student, Yoshi Oida, with Arian Mnushkin (Theater du Soleil).

Since 1974, she has performed together with actor-director Zhirayr Papazyan, whom she married in 1977. Together, they perform in the "Araratyan Kaya" performance in Armenian, English, and French. After settling in Paris, she founded the "Barev" film company, and shot the motion picture "Haifa.". She has performed on the stage of the Sydney Opera House, the Metropolitan Museum, Riverside Studios in London, and the Cairo Opera House. Since 1993, she has been an honorary member of the National Academic Theater named after Gabriel Sundukyan.

She took leading roles in TV series on the English BBC, Egyptian TV, and American CWTV. She has acted in many short and feature films.
In New York, she staged the works of William Saroyan, Agnes Jau, Jean-Pierre Bakry, Alexandre Dumas, and Saroyan in Yerevan. His writings and poems have been published in various collections. "On the Couch with Nora Armani" and "Lend Me an Identity, Again" were broadcast on French Radio and at New York University. She lives and creates in New York with her husband, Aret Sbenjian, who performs programs in Paris and Yerevan.

Films & TV

Films & TV include Chasing Taste (Film), Innocent (Film), Salam-Shalom (Film - lead), Golden Boy (CBS TV series), Santa Claus in Baghdad, Enchanted, The Doors of Denis, Le Néflier, La Nouvelle Eve, Deadline in Seven Days, Last Station (as co-director), Labyrinth, Casualty (BBC-TV) and Friends (Egyptian-TV), besides the following:

• "Pink Elephant", 1988
• Term: seven days, 1991
• The Last Station, 1994
• Labyrinth, 1995
• "Anna Teryan", 1995
• Le coeur à l'ouvrage, 2000
• Echek, 2000
• "Uncle Pi" (USA), 2007
• "Neighbor, Neighbor", 2005
• "Santa Claus in Baghdad", 2008
• Fugan
• "Marco Polo"
• "Table for 5"
• "The best defense"

Roles in the theatre

Her stage work includes: The Lover (Harold Pinter - Los Angeles) with Aramazd Stepanian, Evocations of Armenia (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Beyond the Veil (Off-Broadway), The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising (Arcola Theatre, London), The King and I (Cairo), Arms and the Man (Young Vic Theatre, London), On the Couch with Nora Armani (London, Paris, NYC, Los Angeles & on tour), The Virile Celebration (F. Gallaire, Paris), No Possible Return (H. Ghazanchyan – National Theatre of Armenia), to name a few, besides Mercedes (Yerevan Youth Audience Theater), Man of Dignity, and Antony and Cleopatra.

Directorial work

Directorial work includes: William Saroyan's Papa You're Crazy-Yerevan, Armenia (adapted and directed), Sojourn at Ararat (The Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles), J.J. Varoujean's Forest at the Bottom of the Sea (Paris & Los Angeles), Thornton Wilder's Bernice (Off-Broadway- Producers Club), Snowflakes in April (Chicago, Detroit), Nannto, Nanto (Paris & Venice), Last Station (feature film), and Evocations of Armenia (MET Museum, New York).

Poems and Essays

Her poems and essays are published in anthologies and literary journals. Her plays have been broadcast on radio Aligre FM in Paris.
Following Los Angeles (1981–1993) and Paris/London (since 1993), as of 2009, Armani divided her time between New York and Paris.
Armani is the founding artistic director of the Socially Relevant Film Festival and is the festival curator for the 7th festival in 2020.


Her awards include Two Drama-Logue awards for Performance and Creation for Sojourn at Ararat, Best Performance & Creation (Armenia), Best Actress in Film for Labyrinth (Armenia), the "Silver Star" award, 1987, the Southern California Golden Star Halo Award, and the Los Angeles "California Drama-Loc" (considered the Oscar of theatre) award.



Ahmed Ibrahim

Full-fledged Content Creator & Tech Journalist. Worked previously with top publishers like AkhbarTech, Abda Adv, and RobbReportArabia.