Mona al Said (Egypt) منى السعيد

This is Egyptian born bellydance superstar Mona al Said.
Mona’s response to family disapproval of her decision to pursue a dance career was to flee to Lebanon and from 1970 to 1975 she danced at the Casino Lebanon. In 1975 she returned to headline at the Meridian Hotel nightclub in Cairo, dancing there until 1976. It was at this point that she went to the Omar Khayyam nightclub in London and she performed there from 1976 to 1980.  She has retired from regular performing and now teaches festival workshops and private classes.

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Mona al Said منى السعيد

This is Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said in a performance from many years ago. If the music seems familiar you’re right. The piece is now well known to dancers after it was released by Suhaila Salimpour with the title of ‘Raks Jamila’ on Arabian Musicals Vol.1.
Lebanese dancer Rindala also danced to this music using the same, or almost the same, choreography as Mona. If you’d like to compare the two, Rindala’s performance is also here on TheCaroVan. Rindala’s wearing a bright green bedlah.

Mona al Said (1986) منى السعيد

Mona al Said (منى السعيد) dances in a scene from the 1986 Egyptian film ‘Koum El Shoqafa’ (كوم الشقافة) which starred Said Saleh, Magda Nour El Din, Hisham Abdel Hamid and Shahera.  In this scene Mona al Said is in the audience in a nightclub and is persuaded by the singer to get up and dance.  Mona could dance in a sack and still mesmerise the audience!
Background trivia: Koum al Shoqafa/Kom al Shukafa are ancient catacombs near Alexandria in Egypt. The name means ‘Hill of Shards’ and dates back to the time when people used to bring food in pottery containers to the catacombs as offerings.  As they didn’t want to take the containers home again they would break them and leave the pieces (shards) at the site.

Mona al Said drum solo

This is a conversion from an old VHS video tape to digital so the quality is not the best but there have been so many enquiries about whether I had this particular piece that it seems that nobody minds a bit. So here’s Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said performing her drum solo. Yes this is the (in)famous gold bikini drum solo but IMHO Mona could wear a sack and it would still be a fantastic performance.

Mona al Said

This is Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said performing to the old Abdel Halim Hafez song ‘Kari’at Al Fingan’ (The Fortune Teller/The Coffee Cup Reader) and the khaleeji song ‘Wah, Wah’.
Again this is a conversion from an old video tape to mp4 with quality to match but ‘back in the day’ these VHS tapes were all there was and we had to take what we could get 🙂

TheCaroVan YouTube channel

deleted YT image

TheCaroVan’s YouTube channel is no more.  The channel featured short clips of bellydancers from the Middle East and occasionally singers, usually in scenes or clips taken from old Egyptian and Lebanese movies some as far back as the 1930s.  Full movies were never uploaded.
TheCaroVan YouTube account has been terminated after receiving copyright demands from companies and copyright organisations who claimed the ownership of some of the clips and/or the accompanying music.  While some of the claims were from entities who, after a minimal amount of research proved to be non-existent, some claims and organisations were legitimate and if you were a regular visitor to TheCaroVan you would have noticed that in the past, clips has been removed in compliance.
In the end, TheCarovan account was terminated due to a take-down notice by a company in France who claims to own the copyright to the 1955 Egyptian film ‘Sigarah wa Kas’ (A Glass and a Cigarette) which features dancing by Samia Gamal.  Interestingly enough there is at least one other company who claims to own the worldwide copyright of this same movie.
I removed the offending clip yesterday, immediately on receiving the notice, but that wasn’t good enough apparently and the account has been terminated.  As a result the channel and its research and information that more than 6,000,000 viewers had accessed, is now lost.
So, long story short, TheCaroVan is no more and I am now ‘An individual whose account has been closed [is] prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube account.’
Ah well, as someone who lives in the Middle East, as you can imagine, we have one or two other things to worry about at the moment…..