Well, the good news is that I have just finished my book, at least the first stage. The bad news is that I still have lots to do, both on the book and other projects I am working on. But I am not letting this distract me from my belly dancer of the month, Ragaa Youssef, who was a circus performer and at one stage performing in a circus named after my family — more cousins! I love the chastely sexy opening of the sequence and how Ahmad Ramzy fantasizes about her, and a whole chorus, dancing for him! He was briefly married to Nagwa Fouad who I never liked even though I chose her not so long ago. I much prefer Ragaa with her gorgeous figure and her beautiful movement and I love the brief Lady from Shanghai inspired mirror set!



I thought I had been doing my belly dancer of the month for almost a year and I was going to pick my anniversary one. But going through past posts, I realise it has been well over a year now. Too bad. It will have to wait until the two-year mark. Anyhow, here is my choice to brighten up your October: the lovely Na’ima ‘Akef, who looks like Barbara Stanwyck. No bad thing for Hollywood on the Nile which is what Egyptian cinema was at the time. The films were often an Arab version of Hollywood ones, complete with musical numbers, high melodrama or whatever. Occasionally, it was a two-way thing as you can see from this silly trailer for Beau Geste where belly dancers are wriggling their hips on Sunset Boulevard — love the cars! But the Hollywood dancers don’t hold a candle to the gorgeous Na’ima who moves so much better and who avoids being vulgar despite her provocative closeness to the musicians. She also avoids the silly expression of so many other dancers and her smile seems genuine. My only reservation is her belly which sticks out a little too much. I have been accused on twitter recently of being fat phobic. Perhaps I am. I would have preferred her to be a few kilos lighter. Not too many though. She needs some flesh on her to enhance those mesmerizing hip shakes!



It’s that time of the month again when I am thinking about belly dancers and my choice for September is a rather obscure dancer who doesn’t even have a wikipedia entry. She couldn’t have been that unknown in her time as she is in a film with two big stars, Ismail Yassin (wearing a hat at the first table; he gets up as she nears his table) and the pretty boy sitting next to him whose name I don’t know but I’ve seen him as a leading man in many films of that period. Anyhow, my dancer’s name is Ne’mat Mukhtar and she is not particularly special except for her lovely hips who seem to have a life of their own. She also has a saucy expression which I like though I wish I knew what the man in the fez who is by the bar has wrapped in the scarf for her. I don’t seem to be able to work it out. Anyone who knows, please leave a comment. Thanks!



It’s official. Kitty Fotsaty is my new favourite belly dancer. I had never heard of Kitty until I started looking for my belly dancer for August. Still, she must have been a big star in her day. The film from which this clip is taken seems to be a lavish production and in other clips that I watched, she stars alongside Ismail Yassin who was the biggest Egyptian comedian of his time — just as big as Laurel & Hardy and just as hilarious. But to go back to Kitty, she has a beautiful body, thinner than the average belly dancer but very shapely; and she doesn’t have a silly expression as she dances. In fact, she is very pretty and very cute; and I just love her sinuous, supremely sexy movements. I am dedicating this video to all those civil servants who surf the net on taxpayers money in search of belly dance classes! Thank you Fuchsia for this amusing bit of news.