Katy (1958) كيتي

This is dancer/actress Katy (كيتي aka Keti, Kitty, Katie etc) performing in a scene from the 1951 Egyptian musical ‘Leilet al Henna’ (ليلة الحنة Henna Night ). The film starred Shadia, Kamal al Shinnawi, Mary Munib, Fardous Mohamed and Seraj Mounir. The film was directed by Anwar Wajdi. Katy was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She acted and danced in many Egyptian movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but returned to Athens in 1965 after being implicated in a spy plot which apparently involved Egyptian/Israeli double agent Refaat el Gammal رأفت الهجّان known as Refaat al Hagan in Egypt and Jack Beton in Israel. Katy appeared in at least two Greek language films following her return to Greece. She also speaks Greek in one of her earlier Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.  Just as a bit of background, Refaat al Gammal loved acting and appeared in small roles in several Egyptian movies.
‘Leilet al Henna’ (henna night) is a female only gathering which takes place one or two days before the actual celebration of the marriage. On the henna night the bride and her friends gather, a henna artist comes to the house, and the henna designs are applied. The choice of designs can be very intricate. Henna always looks better the following day once the design has ‘set’ and the dried off henna has been removed.  I usually rub olive oil on to seal the design, I don’t know if that makes a difference or not though 🙂
Trivia: The director of this film, famous actor Anwar Wajdi, married and divorced singer/actress Leila Murad on three separate occasions. His other wives were Elham Hussein and actress Leila Fawzy.

Katy (1954) كيتي

This performance by Katy (aka Keti, Kitty Katie) is from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Ismail Yassin’s Ghost’ (عفريتة إسماعيل يس).  Katy plays a nightclub dancer who is murdered by the evil henchman (Farid Shawki) of a nightclub owner (Seraj Mounir ). She then reappears as the ghost of the title and haunts her co-worker at the nightclub (Ismail Yassin) insisting that he find those responsible for her death.  Unfortunately she doesn’t know ‘whodunnit’ as she was asleep at the time! Also starring were Mary Munib, Ferdous Mohamed and Zeinat Sedki.  You can see several other clips from this movie featuring a performance by Fifi Salama and more clips of Katy on this channel.

Fifi Salama (1954) فيفي سلامة

The dancer in this clip is Fifi Salama who danced in a dozen or so movies between 1954 and 1960. This performance is from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Ismail Yassin’s Ghost’ (عفريتة إسماعيل يس) and seems to have been her first foray into movies. The film starred Ismail Yassin, Katy (as the Kitty the dancer and later as the ghost of the title), Farid Shawki, Mary Munib and Seraj Mounir.
The groom is played here by Abdelmonem Ismail (1907-1970) and the bride is played by Zeinat Sedki (1913-1978). Mary Munib and Mohamed Kamal el Masri are the couple on the bride’s right and who are sitting at the front in the second part of the clip.
Trivia: The bride’s name is Zalabia which is the Arabic word for a type of fried circular pastry much liked for breakfast. Zalabia is sometimes made like dumplings, sometimes they’re piped into different shapes. Mouth watering!

Katy (1953) كيتي

This is Katy (1927-1980) who starts her performance with a shamadan (candelabra) in a scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Aabid al Mal’ (‘Slaves of Money’ عبيد المال). The scene then moves on to showcase many different styles of dancing, ending with a jazz section featuring Katy’s trademark high kicks and the splits. The film starred Farid Shawki along with Mahmoud al Meliji, Faten Hamam and Emad Hamdi.
Katy (her name is also spelt Kitty, Keti and Katie) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She acted and danced in many Egyptian movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but returned to Athens in 1965 after being implicated in a spy plot which apparently involved Egyptian/Israeli double agent Refaat el Gammal رأفت الهجّان‎ aka Refaat al Hagan aka Jack Beton. She appeared in at least two Greek language films following her return to Greece. She also speaks Greek in at least one of her earlier Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.
Trivia: Refaat al Gammal loved acting and appeared in small roles in several Egyptian movies.

Katy (1954) كيتي

Egyptian/Greek dancer Katy features in two further scenes from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Khalak ma Allah’ (‘Stay with God’ or ‘Trust in God’ خليك مع الله). The film starred Ismail Yassin, Mahmoud al Meliji, Zomoroda, Abdel Wares Asar and Zeinat Sedki who gets up the dance with Katy early in the first scene.  The singer in the first scene is Mohamed el Kahlawy (محمد الكحلاوي) which is also spelt Mohamed El Kahlaoui.

Katy was born in Alexandria, Egypt, of Greek heritage. I’m sure I’m saying things you already know but many who come to this channel are not aware that there was a large Greek community in Egypt prior to the 1952 revolution. The majority left Egypt in the decade or so following the revolution, many to the US, Canada and Australia.  Back to Katy though; as her fame relates to her nationality due to her place of birth I’ve referred to her as Egyptian. Off topic, she appeared in at least two Greek language films and also speaks Greek in at least one of her Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.

Katy (1954) كيتي

Egyptian born/Greek descent dancer Katy is featured in this scene from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Khalak ma Allah’ (also spelt ‘Halik ma Allah’, meaning ‘Stay with God’ or ‘Trust in God’ خليك مع الله). While in this clip Katy’s performance isn’t bellydance and the music certainly isn’t, never mind, we could just change the music and a few of the movements and its raks sharki LOL.  The music is so familiar but I can’t think of the name and now the tune is stuck in my head.
The film starred Ismail Yassin, Mahmoud al Meliji, Zomoroda, Zeinat Sedki, Abdel Wares Asar and Nadia Riaz who doesn’t seem to have been in any other films save this one.

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.