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 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?)
This is Egyptian actress Galeela Mahmoud dancing for Sami Sarhan in a scene from the 1993 film “Al Hareban” (The Fugitives الهاربان). The film also starred Samir Ghanem along with Noura (who’s Poussy’s cousin) and Amal Ibrahim.
This is Taheya Karioka performing in a scene from the 1942 Egyptian film “Dreams of Youth” (أحلام الشبابAhlam al Shabab). The film starred Farid al Atrache as a man who fancies his neighbour’s niece Elham played by Madiha Yousri. He gets to know Elham by teaching her to play the piano. Basiyouni is Elham’s aunt and is played by Marie Munib. The film also starred Hassan Fayek and Abbas Fares. Taheya Karioka plays Bahia who is a dancer who tries – but fails – to make Farid fall in love with her.
The dancer in this scene is Egyptian born Samia Gamal performing in the 1951 film ‘The Beauty’s Cheek’ (Al Ghad al Gamil خد الجميل). The singers are in a group sitting at a table dressed in pseudo-Lebanese garb and they come up to join her individually. In order of performance the singers are Suad Makkawi, Shekuku, and Abdel Aziz Mohamed. The film also starred Marie Munib and Hassan Fayek.
In this scene legendary Egyptian dancer Samia Gamal performs with Lebanese born singer Sabah. The scene is from the 1959 Egyptian film ‘Al Rajol al Thani’ (The Second Man الرجل الثاني) which also starred Salah Zulfikar and Rushdi Abaza.
Its interesting to see Samia Gamal, Sabah and Rushdi Abaza in the same film. As you probably know, Egyptian actor Rushdi Abaza was married to Samia Gamal from 1958 to 1977 but he married Sabah in 1977 prior to the end of his marriage to Gamal. The Sabah-Abaza marriage lasted less than a week as, according to Sabah, he’d omitted to tell her that he was still legally married to Samia. Nobody really seems to know the truth. Did Sabah and Abaza had a mut’ah which is a legal though temporary marriage, known over here as ‘The 5 Minute Marriage’? Or did he just like dancers as he’d previously been married to Taheya Karioka. Who knows?