Zeinat Olwi (1954) زينات علوى

Zeinat Olwi is the dancer in this scene from the 1954 Egyptian film ‘Pity My Tears’ (Erham Damoui ارحم دموعي). Zeinat Olwi was born in Alexandria, Egypt, eventually moving to Cairo where she danced in Badia Masabni’s nightclub, moving later to the band which supported singer and actor Mahmoud Shekoko (محمود شكوكو). She started her film career in 1951 and seems to have made her last film appearance in 1970. She died in 1988.
The film was directed by Henry Barakat and starred Yahia Shaheen, Faten Hamama (Mrs Omar Sharif) and Rushdy Abaza (who’d been married to Samia Gamal, Sabah and earlier Taheya Karioka).

Lucy (لوسى) Parts 1 and 2

This is a performance by Egyptian bellydancer Lucy (لوسى) in two parts. In this clip Lucy is wearing a black and silver bedlah with bizarre shoulder pads, ‘like a lizard’ was one suggestion. Born in Cairo and growing up in Mohamed Ali Street as Inam Mohammed Saad Abdul Wahab (إنعام سعد محمد عبدالوهاب) Lucy was soon dancing at weddings and nightclubs including later her own nightclub, ‘Parisiana’ in Cairo. She now has a successful career as a movie actress including an award at the Alexandria Film Festival in 1996.

Trivia: According to the web publication ‘Al Bawaba’ Lucy, “…considers 99.9% of Egyptian belly dancers respectable and honourable. Their repeated marriages is better than getting involved in illegitimate affairs.”

Nahed Sherif (1974) ناهد شريف

Actress Nahed Sherif (1942-1981) dances in a scene from the 1974 joint Syrian/Egyptian film ‘Emraa Haraah’ (Confused Woman إمرأة حائرة ). The film also starred Sharifa Fadel, Nour al Sherif, Syrian actor Fathi Abdul Latif and former Miss Lebanon, Nadia Arslan.

Hayatim (1978) هياتم


Alexandrian born dancer and actress Hayatem in a nightclub scene from ‘Intabihu Ayyuha Al Sada’ (Beware, Gentlemen) which starred Mahmoud Yassin, Hussein Fahmi, Nahed Sharif and Kareem Abdul Aziz. Filmed in 1978 but not released until 1980, the movie tells the story of an engaged couple who’re looking for a flat (apartment) in Cairo. Jalal’s a university professor and Ayda is his fiancée. By chance they meet Antar who used to remove the rubbish from the local mosque but who’s now wealthy. Ayda’s mother considers Antar to be a better match for her daughter as he is rich, unlike the professor. Over the course of the film she persuades her daughter to ditch the professor and marry Antar. In the final scene Antar and his new bride, the professor’s former fiancée, leave their wedding reception at a nightclub in Pyramid Road and they’re confronted by the professor. In this scene we see that the professor has lost not only his fiancée but also his sanity.  To quote Relli Shechter “His professorship at Cairo University and the five philosophy books he has written are of no use when he needs to buy an apartment.”
*Relli Shechter ‘Consumerism and Its Malcontents in the Emergence of Egyptian Market Society’ Published in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, April 2009