Syrian bellydancers Eghraa and Fitna (1964)

This scene is from a Lebanese/Syrian joint production titled, ‘The Pearl Necklace’ (Akd al Lulu عقد اللولو) which had previously been both a tv sketch and a stage play. Released in 1964, the film starred Lebanese singer/actress Sabah, Syrian comedians Duraid Lahham and Nihad Kalai (the two men who enter the restaurant and sit at the table) and Syrian singer Fahad Balan. The dancers in this clip are ‘real life’ sisters and their stage names are Eghraa (with the headband draping over her shoulder) and Fitna. The sisters left their home in Damascus, Syria for the bright lights of Cairo in 1958. Eghraa’s real name is Nihad Alaeddin and she went on to become a well known ‘bikini’ actress while her sister Fitna seems to have only appeared in a couple of Egyptian films in the 1960s. Fitna now veils and identifies as a conservative Muslim. She no longer mentions her bellydancing past though the two sisters still speak to each other.
Trivia: (1) In Arabic the word Eghraa means ‘seduction’. The word Fitna in Arabic has many meanings but can mean ‘temptation’.
(2) Fahad Ballan moved from Syria to Egypt and worked with Farid al Atrash. He was married for several years to actress Mariam Fakhreddine who was also a star of one of Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham’s films.

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Nahid Sabri (1962)

Nahid Sabri (صبري ناهد) is the dancer in this scene from the 1962 Egyptian film “Youm Bela Ghad“ (غد بلا يوم A Day without (a) Tomorrow). Born in 1925 in Tanta, Egypt, Nahed Sabri and her sister went to the bright lights of Cairo where Nahed became a pupil of Nelly Mazloum. She was given her big break by Hussein Fawzi an Egyptian film director who was married to Naima Akef at one point. Nahid Sabri travelled to the US where she lived for several years before returning to Egypt. She later renounced dancing and closed her dance schools.
The film starred Syrian born singer, composer and oud player Farid al Atrache, along with Mariam Fakreddine and Zaki Rostom.

Lula Abdu (1955) لولا عبده

This is very short clip of Egyptian dancer and singer Lula Abdu (also spelt Lola Abdou) performing in a wedding scene from the 1955 Egyptian film ‘Ard al Hawa’ (Age of Love عهد الهوى ). The film starred Farid al Atrache (post Samia), Mariam Fakreddine, Abdelsalem al Nabulsi and Yousef Wehbi.

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Fifi Abdu is the bellydancer in this scene from the 1975 Egyptian film ‘Mamnou fi Laylat El Dokhla’ (Forbidden on the Wedding Night ممنوع فى ليلة الدخله). Bellydance legend Nagwa Fouad plays Zoba, the soon-to-be wife of the bride’s widowed father played by Mohamed Reda. Nagwa dons a hipscarf and joins in the dancing later in the scene. The story of the film, which is a comedy, revolves around Tahseen (Adel Imam) and Mona (Soheir Ramzi) who love each other but her mother Zareefa (Nabila al Sayed) thinks Mona can do better. Zareefa is killed in an accident when she falls through an open manhole and drowns. She then appears as a ghost that only the unfortunate Tahseen can see. In this scene Tahseen and Mona have married. The singer in this scene is Egyptian born Shafik Galal (1929-2000).
Trivia: The man serving the drinks at the start of the clip is Seif Allah Mokhtar.

Hager Hamdi and Horeya Mohamed (هاجر حمدى & حورية محمد)

The two dancers in this clip are Hager Hamdi and Horeya Mohamed. The singers with them are Mohamed Salman who does the mawal, and he’s followed by Mohamed al Kahlawy.
Trivia: Lebanese born singer Mohamed Salman was married to Najah Salam.

Fekriya Mohamed (1952) فكرية محمد

The dancer in this scene from the 1952 Egyptian film ‘El Osta Hassan’ (Foreman Hassan الاسطى حسن) is Fekriya Mohamed (فكرية محمد). It seems that Fekriya Mohamed only appeared in four movies in the 1950s and then retired. The singer with her is Egyptian comedian and singer, Mahmoud Shekuku who shows a definite talent for candle balancing. The movie starred Huda Sultan and Farid Shawki (they were married for many years in real life) along with Zuzu Madi, Mary Munib and Riad Hussein. Also starring is a young Rushdi Abaza at the beginning of his acting career.
Rushdi Abaza was an Egyptian actor who later married Samia Gamal. The marriage lasted about 10 years until Samia Gamal learned that Rusdhi Abaza had not-so-secretly married Lebanese singer/actress Sabah. The Abaza-Sabah marriage only lasted 6 days at which point Sabah learned that Abaza had failed to divorce Samia Gamal.