Hala al Safy (1984) هالة الصافى

Hala al Safy dances in a scene from the 1984 Egyptian film ‘Al Mushaghiboun fi Jaish’ (Hooligans in the Army المشاغبون فى الجيش).  Unfortunately the music has been (badly) overdubbed at a later time. Starring Saeed Saleh, Samir Ghanem and Younes Shalabi (the three men at the table) the film is about three friends who are called up for military service.
The film was directed by a famous name in Arabic film Niazi Mostafa who had, in 1936, very early in his career, directed a scene featuring Badia Masabni and her troupe which included a young Taheya Karioka.  Niazi Mostafa was murdered a couple of years after this film was made.
In 1986 Hala al Safy, (whose birth name is Suhayr Hasan Abdeen) renounced dance and performing. She now considers it haram (forbidden) and describes her career as a dancer as a time when “…I left my life in the hands of the Devil to play with…”
If you’re interested in knowing more about Hala’s transition to Soheyr or in other artists who have ‘repented’ and their reasons for doing so, may I recommend:
– ‘Performing Piety: Singers and Actors in Egypt’s Islamic Revival’ by Karin van Nieuwkerk
– ‘Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety’ edited by Kamal Salhi.

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