Katy (1953) كيتي

In this scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Ibn Thawat’ (ابن ذوات) Katy’s performance starts just inches from burlesque. This is followed by a rhumba, then Spanish, melaya, baladi, cane and finally she puts on a bedlah for a short piece of raks sharki. Katy (her name is also spelt Kitty, Keti and Katie) was born in Alexandria to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She appeared in many movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but left Egypt in mysterious circumstances after being implicated in a spy plot.
The film’s title is also spelt ‘Ibn Zawat’ and means ‘Son of the Privileged’ though some sites call it ‘Gilded Youth’ or ‘Son of Nobles’ but anyway you get the gist I’m sure. The film starred Ismail Yassin who’s the man singing in this clip and, like many of Yassin’s movies, it was written by Abo el Seoud el Ebiary. Ismail Yassin plays a wealthy single man living the high life in Cairo. His uncle decides he should marry and chooses a suitable girl to be the young man’s bride. When the uncle asks the girl to marry his nephew she tells him she can’t because she’s already in love with another man. The complication is that her father refuses to let her marry her intended. Eventually the uncle finds out that the young man in question is his nephew. The girl’s father relents and everyone lives happily ever after.
Trivia: The term ‘ibn zawat’ is used by awlad baladi almost as an insult, meaning a person who is soft and cares only about outward appearances.

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