Samiha Tawfik and Hoda Sultan (1953)

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.

Warda al Jazairia وردة الجزائرية‎

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.

Kawakeb (1964) سميرة توفيق

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.

Hoda Shams El Din and Maha Sabri (1961)

A second clip from “Ismael Yassin f’il Sijn’ (Ismail Yassin in Prison إسماعيل يس في السجن ) a 1961 film starring Ismail Yassin (of course) and featuring Hoda Shams El Din (هدى شمس الدين dancer) and Maha Sabri (singer). Hoda wears the same costume that she wore in the first clip but Maha has changed gowns.

Mohamed Roushdi (1968)

This is a popular Arabic song, “Yalli hawa ramak” (What love throws at you) sung by Mohamed Roushdi. The scene is from the 1968 Egyptian film ‘Adawiya’ (عدوية). The film starred Mohamed Roushdi as a poor man who is rejected by the father of his intended due to his lack of money. He retrains as a singer, makes his fortune and is finally his proposal is accepted by the father. The film also starred Hamdy Ahmed (حمدى أحمد), Nahed Sharif as the Adawiya of the title, Nahed Yousri and Naemat Mokhtar.
Trivia: As well as being the surname of a famous singer (Ahmed Adaweya), ‘Adawiya’ is also a female first name.

Samia Gamal (1952)

Samia Gamal dances as the introductory credits roll at the start of the Egyptian film ‘Al Khad al Gamil’ (The Beauty’s Cheek خد الجميل). The singer is Mahmoud Abdel Aziz (عبدالعزيز محمود). The film was released in December 1951 and starred Samia Gamal and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz (of course) along with Zomoroda (her name means ‘Emerald’), Mahmoud Shekuku, Mary Munib, Omar al Gizawy and Suad Mekawi.