Hala al Safy هالة الصافى

This is Egyptian dancer Hala al Safy (هالة الصافى) performing with the son of Metkal Kanawi who was also named Metkal Kanawi. To add to the confusion, Metkal (the elder) also performed with Hala al Safy. The audio quality isn’t too good in this clip so you’ll need to turn the volume up.
Hala al Safy had a long and successful career as a bellydancer, also appearing in many movies. Several of her movie performances can be seen here on TheCaroVan. In 1986 she renounced dance and public performances. Hala, whose real name is Suhayr Hasan Abdeen, now considers dance to be haram (forbidden) and describes her career as a dancer as the years she’d “…left my life in the hands of the Devil to play with.” She continues, “Hala al Safy died and buried her past with her.” To know more about Hala al Safy’s transition from bellydancer to ‘repentant artist’ you may like to look at a book titled ‘Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety’ edited by Kamal Salhi. There are also many websites in Arabic that deal with the topic of repentant artists both specifically and generally.
Luxor born Metkal Kanawi (the elder), is probably best known as a vocalist and rababa player in the genre of Saiidi music. His group’s music is known and loved by dancers worldwide and I saw Metkal and the Rababa Orchestra perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia many years ago. Metkal Kanawi died in 2004 and one of his sons, Hijazi Metkal (حجازي متقال), has become a well known baladi singer in Egypt. Another son, Hamdi, has become a rababa player like his father. There’s a recording from many years ago of Hamdi accompanying his unnamed mother (who’s not Hala al Safy) as she sings a mawwal.  Metkal’s son Metkal, who’s featured in this video, passed away in the 1980s.
Many, many thanks to Jalilah who’s cleared some of the fog of confusion.

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