Nariman Aboud (Lebanon) ناريمان عبود

This is a short piece by Lebanese dancer Nariman Aboud (ناريمان عبود). The clip’s from a Lebanese tv game show. Nariman wears a red bedlah and in this clip she performs with a troupe of debke dancers .

Fifi Abdu عبده‎ فيفى

This is Egyptian dancer Fifi Abdu performing during a concert headlined by famous Arabic singer Warda al Jazairia (1939-2012).  This part of Fifi’s performance is folkloric. She wears a red striped galabeya and uses zills (sagat) as well as assaya (cane).

Rindala (red bedlah)

Rindala had one speed and that was flat out!  Sorry about the poor quality of the clip. As with many of the clips of Lebanese dancers from the 70s-80s this was originally on an old video tape that’s been played so many times and has now been transferred to digital.

Hala al Safy هالة الصافى

Top of my list – Hala al Safy and her husband Melkal Kanawi.  In 1986 Hala al Safy, (whose birth name is Suhayr Hasan Abdeen) renounced dance and performing. She now considers it haram (forbidden) and describes her career as a dancer as a time when “…I left my life in the hands of the Devil to play with…”
If you’re interested in knowing more may I recommend:
– ‘Performing Piety: Singers and Actors in Egypt’s Islamic Revival’ by Karin van Nieuwkerk
– ‘Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety’ edited by Kamal Salhi.

Howaida Hashem هويدا الهاشم


Lebanese bellydancer Howaida Hashem in an early performance on Lebanese tv. I don’t know the name of the drummer but he continued to play for her for many years. Howaida was famous for her drum solos which often included a stunning Turkish drop. Her cane dance was good too. She retired in the mid-90s apparently.
If I had a dollar for every possible way her name’s been transliterated, I’d be a wealthy person!