This is Ninochka Manoug Kupelian better known as Egyptian actress and dancer Lebleba. In this scene she’s performing in the 1985 movie ‘Mahatet al Ons’ (Social Station محطة الانس). The film starred Samir Ghanem as the owner of a desert service station who uses nails placed on the road to make drivers stop to use his workshop. The film also starred Said Saleh and Younes Shelaby.
Trivia: Lebleba is the cousin of child actress Feyrouz (Perouz Artin Kalfayan) and singer/dancer Nelly (Nelly Artin Kalfayan).
This is Taheya Karioka in a wedding scene from the 1942 Egyptian film “Dreams of Youth” (أحلام الشباب Ahlam al Shabab). She plays the part of Bahia, a dancer who tries but fails to make Farid al Atrache fall in love with her, In this scene she’s hired unknowingly to dance at the wedding of Farid and Elham played by Madiha Yousri. Everything goes along fine until Taheya realises who the groom is. The bride’s aunt is played by the wonderful Marie Munib who’s on the left of screen with the feather in her hair.
This is Taheya Karioka performing in a scene from the 1942 Egyptian film “Dreams of Youth” (أحلام الشباب Ahlam al Shabab). The film starred Farid al Atrache as a man, co-incidentally named Farid, who fancies his neighbour’s niece Elham (Madiha Yousri). He gets to know Elham by teaching her to play the piano. Elham’s parents have both died and now she lives with her aunt played by the wonderful Marie Munib. Taheya Karioka plays Bahia, a dancer who tries but fails to make Farid fall in love with her. The film also starred Hassan Fayek and Abbas Fares.
Trivia: The ‘Haaretz’ newspaper in Israel reports that in September 1962 the Edison Theatre in Jerusalem screened the Farid al Atrache film “Eternal Melody”(“Lahn al khulud”). The audience was incensed to discover that Farid’s songs were not presented in their entirety in the movie and demanded their money back. When this was refused they smashed seats and broke windows in the theatre lobby.
This is Najia Ibrahim Bilal who’s better known as Kouka (1917-1979). In this scene she sings, dances and uses a sword. The scene is from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Gharam Bosayna‘ (The Love of Bosayna غرام بثينة) in which she starred along with Yahia Shahine (1917-1994) and Aziza Helmy (1929-1994) who are both in the armchairs in this scene. On the floor playing the drum is the irrepressible Wedad Hamdi. Also starring was Abdul Ghani Qamar.
This is actress. singer and occasional dancer Kouka (1917-1979) in a scene from the 1955 Egyptian film ‘A Glass and a Cigarette’(سيجارة وكاس). The title of the film is reversed in Arabic and titled ‘Sigarah wa Kas’.
Born in 1917 in Sudan as Najia Ibrahim Bilal, Kouka went to Cairo where she became part of the troupe formed by Youssef Wahbi the famous Egyptian actor. She eventually was hired as a movie editor by Studio Misr but that same year she made her screen debut opposite Ali al Kassar. She appeared opposite US singer Paul Robeson in the 1937 British drama ‘Jericho’ which is also known as ‘Dark Sands’
In this film Kouka plays Azza, the best friend of the film’s main character Huda played by Samia Gamal. Samia Gamal’s character is a famous dancer who marries Mamdouh, played by Nabil el Alfi. Huda retires from dancing and helps Mamdouh set up a hospital. The head nurse Yolanda (Dalida) also has her sights on Mamdouh and Huda starts to believe that they’re having an affair. Huda returns to drinking and smoking.
Sadly, the film’s co-star Dalida took her own life in 1987.
Trivia: I understand that bellydancer Nemat Mokhtar married Kouka’s husband the Egyptian film director Niazi Mustafa (1911-1986) who was a infamous womanizer. In a ‘her or me’ situation Kouka made Niazi Mustafa chose and Nemat Mokhtar was quietly divorced. Niazi Mustafa was murdered in 1986.
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 Lebanese bellydancer Nariman Aboud filmed as part of the Lebanese tv show ‘Studio Al Fan’. Nariman was originally spotted by Lebanese singer Melhem Baraket. Later she married singer Wissam al Amir and retired from public performing in the early 2000s to take care of their two children. In 2011 there was talk of her returning to the dance scene but whether that happened or not I don’t know. Nariman still regularly hits the dance floor at the restaurant in Jouneih in Lebanon though.
Trivia: One of Nariman’s signature pieces of music was “Ya bou el eyoun el soud” which was sung by her brother Michel. (I think it was done originally by Karem Mahmoud or Iraqi singer Nazem el Ghazali. Can anyone confirm please?)