Today is my birthday and I decided to give you, and myself, two belly dancers instead of one although I don’t know much about either one but I love the mise en scene, especially when the camera moves on to the other dancer’s hips and you don’t know yet there is another one! Apparently Nadia Gamal is Lebanese. I am not sure if this is true, and I don’t even know the other one, Loula Abdo, who according to the notes with the video clip danced in quite a few films — this present clip is from Qolub al-Nass which came out in 1954. She is sexy. I like her and I also like the singer, Souad Mekkawi, who is an added bonus. Great clip and a very fitting birthday present to myself!



I finished the year with my favourite dancer and I start the new one with my second favourite dancer, Samia Gamal, at the height of her fame when she was 30 years old and still had a wonderful body — there were periods when she was quite fat (at least by my standards). Anyhow, her movements are sinuous and graceful, and never vulgar. She did have an irritating habit though and that was her permanent wide fixed smile that seemed silly at times. Not here though!


I have to finish the year with my favourite belly dancer, Tahiya Carioca. She is beautiful. Her movement is perfect and she is never vulgar which is quite an achievement for a belly dancer. I read somewhere that she never looked at her audience which could be why she is not given how suggestive the movements are. Another reason why I love Tahiya is that she was clever, witty and very engaged politically; and she let herself grow old gracefully without pretending that she wasn’t and resorting to plastic surgery. Or perhaps there wasn’t much plastic surgery in her time. In any case, she was a remarkable woman who also married 14 times!


She was a big star and she is in the news for owing back taxes to the tune of two and a half million dollars which she says she should not pay because the calculation is made on ‘customer tips’, the notes slipped into the dancer’s costume as she is swirling past them — in her case it seems to have been quite a lot of them — and that they should not be counted as taxable income! We will have to wait until the end of the month before we know if the judgement will go against her. If it does, she will not be able to make up for the loss by dancing more. She is 59 and retired as a dancer but she continues to act although no one will be slipping her notes in her bra as she utters her lines! Anyhow, I hope you will enjoy her dancing more than I do! I am not a fan. She is a little too plump for my taste, and although technically very good, she doesn’t have much grace in her movements!