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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 09:51 GMT
Thousands mourn Syrian producer
Moustapha Akkad
Moustapha Akkad produced eight Halloween films
More than 2,000 people attended the burial in Syria of Moustapha Akkad, the producer of the Halloween films, who died after last week's Jordan bombings.

He died two days after suicide bombers hit his hotel, killing 57 people. His daughter Rima Akkad Monla, also died.

Among the mourners in his home city of Aleppo were Arab actors and Syrian cabinet ministers.

Akkad, who lived in the US, produced eight Halloween movies and directed The Message, about the Prophet Muhammad.

"He was not only a victim of terrorism, but also a big loss to Arab culture," Syrian Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah said at the funeral.

Suicide bombers struck three hotels in Amman, Jordan, killing 60 people.

Akkad, 75, had travelled to the city to attend a wedding with his daughter. She was buried in her husband's hometown of Tripoli, north Lebanon.

Moustapha Akkad's funeral
Mourners lined the streets as Akkad's coffin was carried to the mosque

The producer's coffin was draped in the Syrian flag, with a wreath from President Bahar Assad.

Film challenge

Akkad produced the first Halloween film in 1978, which was directed by John Carpenter.

It spawned seven sequels, the most recent of which was Halloween: Resurrection in 2002.

The Message, Akkad's 1976 film about early Islam, saw Anthony Quinn play the Prophet's uncle Hamza.

Akkad faced a challenge in shooting a movie where viewers neither see nor hear the main character because of Islam's ban on images of Muhammad.

Born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1935, Akkad also directed the 1981 film Lion of the Desert, in which Quinn starred as Libyan anti-colonial fighter Omar Mukhtar.





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