Well, it is that time of the month again and very timely too given all that is going on in Egypt. I should really be featuring Tahiya who was very engaged politically but I had a picture of her and Farid in my previous post, so, am going with the other great dancer of that time, Samia Gamal, in a very early film where you also get some of the film action (sorry if you are not an Arabic speaker) and a divine dance with the camera focusing on her beautiful midriff to start then panning to her shadow then finally on her and the motley drooling men watching her. One of my favourite clips of hers. I need to find the film (Agaza fi Gahanam, 1949) and show it at Koshari Street. Very soon we will have screens in there to show classic black & white Egyptian films and street food scenes from around the world!



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!



This month has gone by very quickly and before I know it, it is time for another belly dancer. My choice on this sunny autumn morning is a very pretty and nubile Soraya Salem who I featured recently albeit with her name spelled differently. Here she is leading newly weds, Sabah and Anwar Wagdi, who hate each other and are hurling insults at one another in a funny exchange that is sadly lost on non-Arabic speakers into the main drawing room where their guests are gathered then back to the bedroom where I imagine they will be at each other’s throat instead of falling into each other’s arms. Anyhow, back to the very young Soraya and her beautiful gracile body. The film is from 1953, the golden age of Egyptian cinema, and it must be one of her very early small roles as her cinematography starts in 1954 and finishes in 1966. I absolutely love her, her movement, and her costume; and if I were to get married, which is highly unlikely, I would also want her to dance at my wedding!



Here we go again, belly dance time. This month I hesitated between a seriously vintage one and Kitty, one of my favourites. Then I settled on Kitty. I just love how she is shamelessly seductive with the singer without being vulgar. No mean feat for a belly dancer. I am definitely hiring one for my next party, hoping I find a dancer who is as cute and as well shaped as Kitty! Anyone who knows of such a belly dance treasure in London please give me a shout.