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.

Naima Akef (1957) نعيمة عاكف

Naima Akef dancing in the 1957 film ‘Tamr Henna’ (تمر حنة ). Along with Akef the film starred Faiza Ahmed, Rushdi Abaza, Ahmed Ramzi, Siraj Munir and Zeinat Sedki. The story line has similarities to Pigmalion/My Fair Lady in which a lower class girl is transformed into a genteel lady. In ‘Tamr Henna’ however Prof. Higgins is replaced by a rich man with a jealous fiancee who connives with Hassan (Abaza) who’s the fiance of the girl, to shame Tamr Henna publicly and ‘put her in her place’. The scene in this clip shows a party where, unknown to Tamr Henna, her family has been hired to entertain the guests (‘Kali ballik min Zuzu’ anyone?). She is forced to dance for the partygoers thus revealing her true background. The man who dances with her in this scene is her fiance and she is shocked to see him. In later scenes her jealous fiance stabs her but she survives and returns to her roots.