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nagua fuad 1966

Nagwa Fouad

Her first role in cinema was a tiny part in "Shari Al-Hob" (Love Street), starring Abdel-Halim Hafez. A major role followed in "Malak wa Shaytan" (Angel and Devil). "I was trained vocally for this film and I learned how to act as well." Since then, Fouad has acted in over 100 films and danced in over 250.
Nagwa formed a group of 12 dancers and 35 musicians and singers, one choreographer and one costume designer. "It was a sort of a small-scale mobile theatre, we toured the country and gave performances everywhere."
Fouad was always testing the limits of her art form, always pushing for more spectacular events. One of her best-remembered performances featured a horse named Thunder. The words she uses to describe her shows "renovation, development, glory and distinction" are sufficiently resonant not to seem out of place in a victory speech.
Nagwa Fouad has had to fight for recognition that belly-dancing is worthy of respect. In a world where many entertainers have to put up with the bad name their craft has acquired, she insists on the importance of dance. As she puts it in nice words "you can smell the perfume of the East and experience one of the Thousand and One Nights"
Her four marriages were, perhaps, the inevitable by-products of a life lived at night, of hard work devoted to making it all look easy. But it is her marriage to Sami El-Zoghbi, the manager of the Cairo Sheraton Hotel at the time, that she remembers most fondly, as "the best time of my life".

Nagua Fouad around 1992

Today, she sees no reason why she should retire. "Art is not linked with age or nationality... it is linked with creation and presence and if the artist can give and enjoy, she must continue to perform," she says.
Fouad is the only dancer of her generation who is still performing and doing workshop even in Europe. The others fell along the way, retiring for fear of forgetting that they were over the hill, gaining or losing too much weight, succumbing to illness or the pressures of competition and the hard work and harder temptations that riddled their lives.
Although Fouad no longer dances in night-clubs, she still works in theatre and on television. In the serial "Zizinia", she plays Badia Masabni, the syrian-lebanese dancer and owner of Cairo's most famous club at the time: "Salet Badia". The same club where Tahiya Karioka and Samia Gamal as well as singers like Farid El-Atrash, started out in the 1940s. Nagwa and Badia had more in common than one would suppose at first glance: the legendary beauty and being self-made women in traditional times where male domination ruled.

Partly based on information of "Al kawakeb" and "al ahram"

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Some of the films featuring Nagwa Fouad:

  • Malak wa shaytan (Angel and demon, Egypt, 1960) by Kamal Al Sheikh
  • Leih Khalitni Ahibak (Lei Khaletni Ahabek or "why did you make love to me?"
    named after the title of a popular song by the famous romantic singer Fayza Ahmed the movie was roughly base on "My best friends' wedding" starring Julia Roberts. The high-quality sound was produced in Belgium. Starring Ahmed Helmy
  • El aris el thani
* more on belly dance legend nagua fouad (1)