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.
The dancer in this scene is actress Kouka from the 1951 film ‘Wahiba, Malikat al Ghagar’ (Wahiba, Queen of the Gypsies). Dancers will note the skirt style. The male singer is Mahmoud Abdel Aziz. The film starred Saad Abdel Wahab who was the nephew of composer Mohamed Abdul Wahab. Also starring was Shekoukou.
If you’d like to know more about Kouka there’s an article on the Movie Musical World website that details her career and her connection with US actor and singer Paul Robeson. You can find the article at http://movie-musical-world.blogspot.com/2011/07/kouka-la-sultane-du-desert.html The article is in French but there’s a translation available.
Trivia: Kouka also starred in a film a few years later which was titled ‘Queen of the Desert’. The two films are often confused.