Bellydancers (1964)

A dance troupe performs in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian colour production ‘Emir al Dahaa’ (أمير الدهاء ) which starred Naima Akef, Shweiker and Farid Shawki. Naima Akef retired shortly after making this film to care for her child and sadly she died two years later while still in her mid-30s.
The film is known as ‘The Prince of Cunning’ aka ‘The Crafty One’ aka ‘The Artful Prince’ aka ‘The Prince of Savvy’ (well, you get the idea I’m sure) and is based on French writer Alexandre Dumas’ book, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.
Background: The film is a colour remake, complete with the same dialogue, of a 1950 black and white film ‘Amir el Antikam’ (‘Prince of Revenge’) which starred Anwar Wagdy. The dance scenes in the earlier movie were performed by Samia Gamal.
Movie trivia: 1. Farid Shawki who was the star of this film, had a small part in the earlier production. 2. Both the 1950 and 1964 version of the story were directed by Henri Barakat. 3. The dubbed English language version of this film was released in the US with the grand title ‘Vengeance of the Desert’. (Thanks to Lynette of Serpentine.)

Naima Akef (1949) نعيمة عاكف

Naema Akef is the dancer in this scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Sitt al Beit’ (Lady of the House ست البيت). The singer with her is Mahmoud Abdel Aziz. Three women sitting on a couch watching her. Zeinab Sedki who plays the groom’s mother is on the left and Faten Hamama on the right.
Hosna Solomon, who was a talented dancer in her own right, plays Qeshta the maid. She’s dancing on the stairs and later she’s joined by Mohamed Kamal for more dancing in the kitchen.
Trivia: The expression ‘Sitt al Beit’ (usually said ‘sitti beit)’ is used to describe a person who’s a housewife or a stay-at-home mum.

Naima Akef (1949) عاكف‎ نعيمة

Naima Akef in a scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Sitt al Bayt’ (Lady of the House ست البيت). From what I’ve been able to find out, this was her first credited movie role.  The film starred Faten Hamama (who was married to Omar Sharif for many years).  Also starring were Emad Hamdi, Thuraya Fakri, Hosna Soloman and Zeinab Sedki.  Zeinab (with a ‘b’) Sedki is often confused with Zeinat (with a ‘t’) Sedki the comedienne from the same era who often appeared in films with Ismail Yassine.
The singer in this scene is Abdul Aziz Mahmoud while Emad Hamdi is at the bar getting hammered.

Naima Akef (1952) نعيمة عاكف‎

Naima Akef dances in a scene from the 1952 Egyptian film ‘Al Nimr’ (The Tiger النمر). The film tells the story of Darwish (Zaki Rostom) a nightclub owner who is nice to those around him but is in fact, a drug runner codenamed ‘Tiger’. Naima Akef plays his daughter Faten. The film also starred Lola Sedki as Huda, Farid Shawki as Afifi and Anwar Wajdi as Salah, the policeman.

 

Naima Akef (1949) نعيمة عاكف

Video

This is Egyptian dancer and actress Naima Akef performing in a scene from the 1949 film ‘Lahalibo’ (لهاليبو) in which she starred along with Hassan Fayek, Shukri Sarhan and Suleiman Naguib. The film was directed by Hussein Fawzi who was Naima Akef’s husband between 1953 and 1958.
Trivia: The film has also been released with the tile of ‘The Circus Girl’.

Naima Akef retrospective عاكف‎ نعيمة

The commentary of this retrospective of the career of Egyptian bellydancer and actress Naima Akef (1929-1966) is in Arabic but even if you’re not an Arabic speaker, the pictures and clips give an overview of her movie career. It covers many of her most famous dance scenes including ‘Tamr Henna’ in Part 2. If you follow old time Egyptian movies you see famous Egyptian comedienne Zeinat Sedki playing the riq as part of the band in the ‘Tamr Henna’ scenes.
(One day I’ll have the time to do a translation but unfortunately I can’t see it being any time soon.)

 

Naima Akef (1957) نعيمة عاكف‎

Naima Akef (نعيمة عاكف) dances in what’s probably the most famous scene from the 1957 Egyptian film ‘Tamra Henna’ (تمر حنة).  The film also starred Ahmed Ramzy, Seraj Munir, Rushdy Abaza as Hassan, Tamr Henna’s finance and Fayza Ahmed who is the singer in this clip.
Trivia: 1) Tamar hinna, tamra henna or tamerhinna is the name here for tamarind.  The words ‘tamer hina’ mean literally ‘Indian date’.  Supermarkets sell tamarind by the box full and you can eat the fruit straight from the box.  There are big seeds/pips though.
2) If you follow Egyptian classic movies you’ll recognise Zeinat Sedki as the riq player in the band.