A pre-wedding party from the 1961 film Nisf ‘Adhra’ (Part Virgin نصف عذراء the title is also spelt “Nesf Azraa”. The dancer enters at 1:21. The film starred Zebeida Tharwat as Zainab, a troubled girl who starts sessions with Dr Anwar who’s a hypnotherapist. He is also evil. Dr Anwar uses his power to control her as you’ll see towards the end of the clip where she suddenly acts like a zombie and walks out of her own party.
Moharram Fouad played Jalal, her intended, and Mohsen Sarhane played Dr Anwar the evil hypnotist.
You’ll see there are only two gents permitted to attend this all-female party (a) a young child and (2) a blind singer.
This dance is called ‘Al Aardhah Al Najdyaah’. ‘Al Aardhah’ means ‘the dance’ and ‘Al Najdyah’ refers to the area of KSA called Najd which includes Riyadh and its suburbs, where King Abdulaziz the father of the Saudi Kings was born and started the unification of his Kingdom. So, in the old days when there were lots of wars led by the founder of the Kingdom and this dance was usually performed after winning a war. They usually sing “Nehmadallh Jat Aala Ma Netmanna” which means “We are grateful to Allah that we have won such a war”. After the wars ceased it became a Saudi traditional dance to be performed on occasions such as National Day and at large culture festivals such as Jenadyriah. The King will also participate in such dance as his father used to.
The drums, tassels, swords, the outfits, and all relevant decorations are derived from the old days.
Music and dance from Kuwait. This setting is called a ‘jalsat’ a Kuwaiti occasion where there’s music, singing and dancing. The guests can sit and enjoy the music or get up and dance.
The jalsats were discouraged under the previous ruler of Kuwait but are more frequent under the new ruler and they’re appearing on tv again. The singer in this clip is Ahlam, a Bahraini born singer who’s made a career as a popular wedding performer in Kuwait. This is her version of ‘Kamaresha’ an old song originally performed by Abu Bakr Salim from the Hadramaut in Yemen. The song talks about her heart being light as a feather because of love. Ahlam is married to a Qatari rally driver and has one child.
This is actress Mounira Sonbol dancing to ‘Zeina’ written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. The scene is from the 1957 film ‘Sajeen Abu Zou’boul’ or ‘Sajeen Abu Zaabal’ ‘(The Prisoner of Abu Zaabal’ ). Abu Zaabal is the name of a prison about 20 miles out of Cairo.
Mounira Sonbol retired after only a few films and is now only seen occasionally on tv programmes that look at her past career or at movies made around that time.
‘Sajeen Abu Zaabal’ also starred Estafan Rosti (the man who enters the room at the very end of the clip), Mahmoud el Meliji and Mohsan Sarhan. Thank you to Jaylan Salah for the ID.
Off topic but Abu Zaabal is also the site of the largest, and last, leper colony in the Middle East established in the 1930s.