This is Lebanese born singer and actress Jeanette Georges Feghali who’s better known as Sabah. She was born in Lebanon in 1927 and died in 2014. In the 1940s she was spotted by Lebanese born film director Assia Dagher who signed her for three movies. She moved to Egypt to follow her dream eventually becoming known as ‘Sabah’ (صباح), the character she played in one of her first movies. And the rest, as they say, is history. The featured dancer wearing the galabaya and hipscarf is Nelly Mazloum. Many thanks to Marianna Mazloum for the ID.
In 1960 Sabah was part of the group of famous Arab singers who sang ‘Al Watan al Akbar’ (الوطن الأكبر The Great Homeland) a pan-Arab song written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab to celebrate the 1958 union of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic. The singers were Sabah along with Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia, Faiza Kamel, Warda and Nagat al Saghira. The union of Egypt and Syria only lasted until 1961 when Syria withdrew from the union following a coup in that country. There were other coups in Syria, in 1963 and again in 1966. It was the 1966 coup that bought the Assads (père et fil) to power.
This is Egyptian dancer Taheya Karioka performing in a scene from the 1953 Egyptian film “Hamido” (حميدو). The film starred Farid Shawki and Huda Sultan playing Hamido and Sayeda who are involved in a drug smuggling operation. Also starring was Mahmoud al Meligi who enters part way through the scene. He plays El Qersh (the baddie) and the part famously calls for a hook for a hand, you’ll see him drinking tea/beer (!) in this scene using the hook. The singer in this scene is Saed Darwish al Tantari (سيد درويش الطنطاوى) not to be confused with Saed Darwish the composer.
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.
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.
This unknown dancer is performing in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian film ‘Al Marid’ (The Giant المارد ). The singer is Mohamed Rushdi. The film also starred Egyptian actress Shweiker and Tawfik al Dekn along with Farid Shawki who’s wearing an eye patch throughout most of the film.
The beautiful voice of Lebanese singer Samira Tawfik. Born Samira Cremona in Beirut, Lebanon in 1935, the story is that her talent was first discovered by a musician who heard her singing as she sat perched up a tree.
Samira Tawfik struggled for recognition in her home country early in her career. After a move to Jordan she became well known for her songs on Jordanian Radio, recording her first song, “Meskin ya kalbi Yama Tlawaat” (Poor heart, how you suffered). When the question of adopting a stage name arose, Egyptian musician Taoufik Bayoumi said “Ettaoufik min Allah” (Your success will come from God) and as a result, she adopted the stage surname Tawfik (‘Taoufik’) which means ‘success’ in Arabic. She has appeared in several movies including “Al Badaouia Al Ashiqa” (The Bedouin Girl in Love, 1963), directed by famous Egyptian director Niazi Mustafa.
This is another scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Ghaltet al Omr’ (Mistake of a Lifetime غلطة العمر) which starred the performers featured in this clip; dancer/actress Samiha Tawfik and singer/actress Hoda Sultan. Also starring were Zouzou Nabil and Hamdy Gheith. Fouad al Mohandes appears in this movie which is early in his film career.
The singer in this clip is Warda and the song is the hugely popular, “Harramt Ahebak” (حرمت أحبك I Give Up (on) Loving You). What do we know about the wonderful voice that belonged to Warda al Jazairia? Warda was born in 1939 in France to Algerian/Lebanese parents and started singing at a very young age. In 1958 her father’s café was closed down by French authorities following a charge of harbouring arms for terrorists and her family moved to Beirut which was her mother’s home town. Warda’s voice soon came to the notice of Mohamed Abdel Wahab and she was invited to come to Cairo. There she came to the attention of Riad Sombati best known for composing songs for Omm Kulthum. The rest, as they say, is history…. ‘Warda’ means ‘rose’, ‘al Jazairia’ means ‘the (f) Algerian’ and one of Warda’s epithets was ‘The Algerian Rose’. Warda was married to composer Baligh Hamdi (1932-1993) for about 10 years. In 1960 Warda was part of the group of famous Arab singers including Shadia, Sabah and Abdel Halim Hafez who sang ‘Al Watan al Akbar’ (الوطن الأكبر The Great Homeland) a pan-Arab song written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab to celebrate the 1958 union of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic. Background: The union of Egypt and Syria only lasted until 1961 when Syria withdrew from the union following a coup in that country. There were other coups in Syria in 1963 and again in 1966. It was the 1966 coup that bought the Assads (père et fil) to power.
This scene is from the 1964 Lebanese film titled ‘Hasna al Badia ‘ (حسناء البادية The Desert Beauty). The dancer wearing the red and black dress is Lebanese dancer/actress Kawakeb (كواكب) and the ‘baddie’ in black at the end of the scene is played by Nadia Gamal who did not dance in this film.
The film starred Samira Tawfik as Hala (the girl on the swing) who’s thought to be unable to walk. In this scene she discovers that she can walk when she sees that the evil flute player is about to blow a poison dart her way. He also has a ‘moustache incident’ but never mind that, LOL.
Trivia: The phrase ‘al badia’ comes from the same root as bedouin.