This month’s belly dancer is almost as vulgar as last month’s, especially when she sticks her tongue out and Rushdi Abbaza (who married 5 times including the two greatest Egyptian dancers, Tahiya Carioca & Samia Gamal, also Sabah before she became scary!) tries to take it to put in his mouth. Yuk. Anyhow, the clip is of a very young Nagwa Fouad (before she started to look like a transvestite) dancing rather well I have to say, and being quite progressive in her movements. I particularly like how the cardboard figures of musicians and supporting dancers become animated every now and then. Perfect entertainment for a cold, wintery Sunday!



With official results of the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections showing Islamist parties with 65% of votes, it is unlikely that Egyptian society will ever go back to its pre Gamal Abdel Nasser glamour as depicted in Egyptian black & white films where you inevitably have at least one belly dance scene in each. My belly dancer for December is a very young Nadia Gamal (no relation to Samia Gamal) performing at the wedding of the Egyptian Grace Kelly, Mariam Fakhr Eddine, in Resalat Gharam (Love Letter – released in 1954). A year before she had met Shammii Kapoor while dancing in Sri Lanka and he describes how he fell in love with her in the charming clip below. I am not surprised he was so taken by her. Her body is gorgeous and she moves it very seductively, and elegantly. Shame the clip is so short!

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Every year I wish for a white Christmas and this year it looks like I will be getting my wish, except that I am not where it is snowing and I may not make it back in time if the airport remains closed. So, to cheer myself up, I’ve gone to my you tube stash of belly dance videos to choose my dancer for December and here is a a very young and festive looking Tahiya Carioca who is now officially my favorite dancer. I also love Samia Gamal but Tahiya is classier and one day, I will post an interview with the two of them showing how they aged, quite differently one from the other: Tahiya matronly but still fun and twinkly and Samia still trim but rather precious. Wishing you all a very happy Xmas!



Tonight I had dinner at Momo in Melbourne, where the supremely talented Greg Malouf does  his own take on Lebanese and other dishes. All very delicious. After dinner, Greg showed us the Spice Market next door, a rather extravagant space where you can travel the silk route. And somewhere in the middle, there is a circular room with low seating and plush cushions which can be completely closed off and where there is a minimum spend. Obviously for the very wealthy. I didn’t ask if the management supplied belly dancers with the champagne and other drinks but the setting reminded me that I hadn’t yet posted my belly dancer of the month who is Zieinat Elwi. She may not be as brilliant as Samia Gamal nor as classy as Tahiya Carioca but she is good. And I love the music she is dancing to.