Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Raqs Sharki 1-2-3: Samia Gamal - Time traveling with the stars of Egyptian Dance

Favourites of the Fourties/Fifties:
 Stars of the Sixties/Seventies:
 Modern Legends:
Part 3: Samia Gamal (5 March 1924 – 1 December 1994)

SAMIA GAMAL was born in 1924 as Zaynab Ibrahim Mahfuz in the small Egyptian town of Wana. Her family moved just months later to Cairo and settled near the Khan El-Khalili bazaar.

It was many years later that Samia Gamal met Badia Masabni, the founder of modern Oriental dance. Badia offered Samia an invitation to join her dance company, which Samia accepted. Badia Masabni gave her the stage name Samia Gamal, and she began her dance career.

At first, she studied under Badia and Badia's star dancer at the time, Tahiya Karioka. However she soon became a respected soloist and brought forth her own style.

Samia Gamal incorporated techniques from ballet and Latin dance into her solo performances. She was also the first to perform with high-heeled shoes on stage. She starred in dozens of Egyptian films next to the famous Farid Al Attrach.

Together they could be thought of as the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the Middle East.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Samia Gamal 

Samia and Farid
Samia and Taheiya

About Samia Gamal:

Interview with Samia Gamal (translation from


Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, 1944

Farid and Samia in Afrita Hanem, 1949
Don't tell anyone, 1952
From the 'Legends of Bellydance' DVD
Valley of the Kings, 1954
 'Zanouba', 1956
Samia dancing to 'Zeina' (also from Zanouba, 1956)
Samia in 'the way of the Devil', 1963


See also: Raqs Sharki 1-2-3: Time Traveling with the Stars of Egyptian Dance
This workshop series by Khalida takes you on a journey in time with the great dancers of then and now.
  • Raqs sharki 1 – ‘Favorites of the fifties’ – Contains combinations and techniques inspired by the legendary dancers of Egypt like Samia Gamal, Naima Akef, Nadia Gamal and Taheya Carioca.
  • Raqs sharki 2 – ‘Stars of the seventies’ – Inspired by famous Egyptian dancers from the 60-80s like Suheir Zaki, Nagua Fouad and Fifi Abdo.
  • Raqs sharki 3 – ‘Modern legends’ – Contains informationa about, and techniques and combinations inspired by the famous dancers of this age

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