Samia Gamal (1950) جمال‎ سامية

This is Egyptian legend Samia Gamal dancing in a third clip from the 1950 Egyptian movie ‘Akher Kedba’ (The Last Lie آخر كدبة). The male singer is Syrian born Farid al Atrache who was her partner both on and off screen for many years. Appearing with them in part of the clip is Ismail Yassin who was a famous Egyptian comedian. Like many other entertainers of that era, Ismail Yassin started his career in the nightclub of Badia Masabni. The film tells the story of Samir and Samira (al Atrache and Gamal). Samira is jealous of Kiki another bellydancer. Kiki gives Samir a broken necklace and asks him to arrange for its repair. Samira finds the necklace and thinks its a gift for her from Samir. In due course Kiki asks for her necklace back!
The film also starred Stefan Rosti, Ismail Yassin, Aziz Othman and Camelia.

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Nemat Mokhtar (1964) نعمت مختار

This is a scene from the Egyptian film ‘Bayn al Qasrayn’ (Between two Palaces بين قصرين) which was released in 1964. The dancer in this scene is Nemat Mokhtar.
The film is based on the first book of the Cairo Trilogy written by Egyptian born Naguib Mahfouz who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. Published in Arabic in 1956 with the title ‘Bayn al Qasrayn’ (Between Two Palaces) the first book was translated into English in 1990 when it was given its better known title, Palace Walk. The three books; Palace Walk, Palace of Desire (released in Arabic in 1957) and Sugar Street (also released in Arabic in 1957), tell the story of three generations of the el Gawad family who live in Cairo. The story starts during Egypt’s occupation by British forces in 1917 and continues until 1944.
Starring in the film was Yahia Shaheen as El Sayed Ahmed Abdel Gawad, a man who rules his family with an iron fist but after dark he’s leading a life of hedonism and self indulgence. Also starring were Maha Sabri, Abdelmonem Ibrahim and Ezzat el Alaili.

Melaya Leff (Egypt)

This is a three part clip featuring dancers performing with a wrap known in Egypt as a melaya leff. The melaya itself is made of black fabric, usually reaching from the head down to the floor. Egyptian ladies once used the melaya leff to cover themselves modestly when they went outside the home. They wore their regular clothes underneath the melaya leff. The melaya leff used for performances has sequins or pailettes sewn on to it while the regular daywear version does not. The melaya leff was most popular up to the 1950s and is often worn in old time Egyptian movies. It can still be seen occasionally today being worn by older women in some more rural or conservative parts of Egypt. Dancers use the melaya leff as part of a ‘character piece’. Its become a prop usually combined with a floral ruffled dress, headscarf with pom poms, burqa and ship-ship.
In this clip we have:
(1) Naima Akef and singer Mohammad Abdel Mottaleb. This is part of a longer scene and in this melaya section Naima Akef is wearing ship-ship on her feet, these are backless mules or slip ons with a high heel. The word for the footwear is also written as shep-shep, it all depends on your Arabic accent 🙂
(2) A chorus line of melaya clad dancers.
(3) Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar in the 1968 Egyptian film ‘Mutarada Gharamia’ (‘Chasing Passion’ مطاردة غرامية) which was based on the successful stage play ‘Boeing, Boeing’. Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar were married in real life at the time this film was made.

Nabaweya Fahmy (1950) نبوية فهمي

This scene is from the 1950 Egyptian comedy film, ‘Leilat al Dokhla’ (The Wedding Night ليلة الدخلة) and features Alexandria born bellydancer Nabaweya Fahmy, who seems to have appeared in only 3 movies between 1950 and 1953 and nothing more. This film starred Ismail Yassin, Hassan Fayek, Samiha Tawfik, Magda and Abdel Fattaḥ al Qaṣri. The two ladies sitting on the chairs are actresses Aziza Badr and Zakeya Ibrahim. The film tells the story of two bachelor barbers who arrange with a matchmaker to have a double wedding to marry their sweethearts who are sisters. On the wedding night the grooms find that their matchmaker has married them to two other, shall we say ‘less attractive’, women.
Trivia: The singer in this clip is Horeya Hassan who was well known as a bellydancer and had a terrific singing voice as some of her other clips will attest. You’ll find other clips of Houreya Hassan here on TheCaroVan.