Lebanese dance troupe (1964)

This scene is from the 1964 film ‘A String of Pearls’ aka ‘The Pearl Necklace’ (Akh al luluعقد اللولو), a Lebanese/Syrian production which had previously been both a tv sketch and a stage play. The film starred Lebanese singer/actress Sabah along with famous Syrian comedians Durraid Lahham and Nihad al Qali. Also starring was Fahad Ballen, a popular Syrian born singer who’d moved to Egypt and worked with Farid al Atrash. Trivia: Fahad Ballen was married to Egyptian actress Mariam Fakhreddine for several years.

Nabaweya Hassan (1951) نبوية حسن

The dancer in this clip is Nabaweya Hassan (نبوية حسن) who only seems to have appeared in two movies, both in 1951 and both starring comedian Ismail Yassin. This scene is from “My Mother-in-Law is an Atomic Bomb” (Hamati Kombola Zorriaحماتى قنبلة ذرية). The film tells the story of Zaahar and Batta (Ismail Yassin and Taheya Karioka) who are a happily married couple.  Unfortunately Batta’s mother, played by veteran comedienne Mary Munib thinks Batta can do better for herself and forces the couple apart.  Also starring were Wedad Hamdi and Abdel Fatah el Quossary. Many thanks to Atyat Ghareeb and Sonja Antanasijevic for the dancer ID.

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.

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.

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!

The Great Unknown (1964)

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.