Naima Akef (1954) نعيمة عاكف‎

The dancer in this scene is the legendary Naima Akef (1929-1966) and the singer is Karem Mahmoud (1922-1995) who was a well-known Egyptian singer and actor. The scene’s from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Nour al Ayoun’ (Light of My Eyes نور عيوني ) which also starred Mahmoud al Meliji, Zeinat Sedki and Hassan Fayek.  A quick summary of the film plot is that Nour the dancer (Akef) loves Adel the singer (Mahmoud) and they’re a successful duet. Hanafi (al Meliji) is jealous and pins a murder charge on Adel who’s arrested. Nour gets a confession from Hanafi and Nour and Adel get married.
Trivia: If you’re interested, there’s a clip on this channel of Egyptian dancer Nagua Fouad performing while Karem Mahmoud sings “Samra ya Samra”.

Naima Akef (1951) نعيمة عاكف

Dancer and actress Naima Akef (1929-1966) performs in a scene from the Egyptian film ‘Furigat’ which was released in July 1951. The film’s Arabic title فرجت is often translated into English as ‘All’s Well’ but the word can also mean ‘released’ which sort of ties in with the storyline
The film starred Naima Akef and also Abbas Fares, Hassan Fayek and actress Zomoroda. I think the actor miming the song in this scene is Salah Abdelhamid.
Naima Akef’s big break came when she was introduced by singer Suad Makkawi to the talent scouts at Nahhas Films in Cairo, a company that, at that time, was part owned by Egyptian actor Yousef Wehbi.
The overseeing company, Studio Nahhas, was nationalised in 1963 by the Egyptian government and its name was changed to ‘Studio el Nil’ (Nile Studios). At some point thereafter the name was changed back to Studio Nahhas and now the whole area is known as Cinema City.

Melaya Leff (Egypt)

This is a three part clip featuring dancers performing with a wrap known in Egypt as a melaya leff. The melaya itself is made of black fabric, usually reaching from the head down to the floor. Egyptian ladies once used the melaya leff to cover themselves modestly when they went outside the home. They wore their regular clothes underneath the melaya leff. The melaya leff used for performances has sequins or pailettes sewn on to it while the regular daywear version does not. The melaya leff was most popular up to the 1950s and is often worn in old time Egyptian movies. It can still be seen occasionally today being worn by older women in some more rural or conservative parts of Egypt. Dancers use the melaya leff as part of a ‘character piece’. Its become a prop usually combined with a floral ruffled dress, headscarf with pom poms, burqa and ship-ship.
In this clip we have:
(1) Naima Akef and singer Mohammad Abdel Mottaleb. This is part of a longer scene and in this melaya section Naima Akef is wearing ship-ship on her feet, these are backless mules or slip ons with a high heel. The word for the footwear is also written as shep-shep, it all depends on your Arabic accent 🙂
(2) A chorus line of melaya clad dancers.
(3) Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar in the 1968 Egyptian film ‘Mutarada Gharamia’ (‘Chasing Passion’ مطاردة غرامية) which was based on the successful stage play ‘Boeing, Boeing’. Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar were married in real life at the time this film was made.

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.