Taheya Karioka (1953) تحية كاريوكا

This is Egyptian dancer Taheya Karioka performing in a scene from the 1953 Egyptian film “Hamido” (حميدو). The film starred Farid Shawki and Huda Sultan playing Hamido and Sayeda who are involved in a drug smuggling operation. Also starring was Mahmoud al Meligi who enters part way through the scene. He plays El Qersh (the baddie) and the part famously calls for a hook for a hand, you’ll see him drinking tea/beer (!) in this scene using the hook. The singer in this scene is Saed Darwish al Tantari (سيد درويش الطنطاوى) not to be confused with Saed Darwish the composer.

The Great Unknown (1964)

This unknown dancer is performing in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian film ‘Al Marid’ (The Giant المارد ). The singer is Mohamed Rushdi. The film also starred Egyptian actress Shweiker and Tawfik al Dekn along with Farid Shawki who’s wearing an eye patch throughout most of the film.

The Great Unknown (1953)

This is a wedding scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Aabid al Mal’ (‘Slaves of Money’ عبيد المال) featuring an uncredited dancer. If anyone can help me with a name for her, it’d be appreciated. The male singer is Mohamed Kandil. Other dancers in the film were Katy and Zeinat Olwi and you can see both their performances on this site. The film starred a young Farid Shawki along with Mahmoud al Meliji, Faten Hamama and Emad Hamdi.

Samira Tawfik سميرة توفيق

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The beautiful voice of Lebanese singer Samira Tawfik. Born Samira Cremona in Beirut, Lebanon in 1935, the story is that her talent was first discovered by a musician who heard her singing as she sat perched up a tree.
Samira Tawfik struggled for recognition in her home country early in her career. After a move to Jordan she became well known for her songs on Jordanian Radio, recording her first song, “Meskin ya kalbi Yama Tlawaat” (Poor heart, how you suffered). When the question of adopting a stage name arose, Egyptian musician Taoufik Bayoumi said “Ettaoufik min Allah” (Your success will come from God) and as a result, she adopted the stage surname Tawfik (‘Taoufik’) which means ‘success’ in Arabic. She has appeared in several movies including “Al Badaouia Al Ashiqa” (The Bedouin Girl in Love, 1963), directed by famous Egyptian director Niazi Mustafa.

Warda al Jazairia وردة الجزائرية‎

The singer in this clip is Warda and the song is the hugely popular, “Harramt Ahebak” (حرمت أحبك I Give Up (on) Loving You). What do we know about the wonderful voice that belonged to Warda al Jazairia? Warda was born in 1939 in France to Algerian/Lebanese parents and started singing at a very young age. In 1958 her father’s café was closed down by French authorities following a charge of harbouring arms for terrorists and her family moved to Beirut which was her mother’s home town. Warda’s voice soon came to the notice of Mohamed Abdel Wahab and she was invited to come to Cairo. There she came to the attention of Riad Sombati best known for composing songs for Omm Kulthum. The rest, as they say, is history…. ‘Warda’ means ‘rose’, ‘al Jazairia’ means ‘the (f) Algerian’ and one of Warda’s epithets was ‘The Algerian Rose’. Warda was married to composer Baligh Hamdi (1932-1993) for about 10 years. In 1960 Warda was part of the group of famous Arab singers including Shadia, Sabah and Abdel Halim Hafez who sang ‘Al Watan al Akbar’ (الوطن الأكبر‎ The Great Homeland) a pan-Arab song written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab to celebrate the 1958 union of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic. Background: The union of Egypt and Syria only lasted until 1961 when Syria withdrew from the union following a coup in that country. There were other coups in Syria in 1963 and again in 1966. It was the 1966 coup that bought the Assads (père et fil) to power.