Samia Gamal was born 1924 as Zainab Ibrahim Mahfuz in Wana, a little egyptian town. Soon after her birth the family move into Cairo to live near the famous Khan el-Khalili basar. When Zainab met the Syrian-Lebanese (Lebanon was at that time still part of Syria) founder of modern Oriental dance, Badia Masabni, her life took a turn. Baadia Masabni accepted Zainab in her dance company and gave her the artist name Samia Gamal.
Samia Jamal is considerd as the second after Tahieah Karryoka. Samia made Belly dance more expressive and toke it to a more respectable status. Samia Jamal worked under Badi'a Masabni when Tahieah Karryoka was the star of the group.
After a while she developed as a soloist and introduced a more looser improvational style into her dancing. Samya soon incorporated other elements such as classical ballet and latin american dance into her solo performances. Samia Gamal started veil dancing when instructed by Ivanova, her classical dance teacher to use a veil to improve her arm carriage. (thank you Zurina).
Farid Al Atrasch and Samia Gamaml became a wellknown movie tandem. Samia didn't only acted on the side of Farid el Atash. In "Un verre et une cigarette (1955)" directed by Niazi Mostapha, Samia Gamal appeared on the white screen together with Nabil al-Alfi, Dalida and Kouka. Perhaps one of her most interesting movies; with Kouka singing some of the songs.
The romance between Farid Al Atrache and Samia Gamal didn't last and after their separation she featured in international movies such as the "Valley of the Kings (1954)". Samia did a couple of magnific dances in "Valley of the Kings" starring Robert Taylor. One of the dances being an oriental dance in an egyptian club in Luxor - the movie also showed a nice cane dance, albeit done by a male egyptian dancer.
Another international blockbuster was "Ali Baba et les quarante voleurs" (Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves) from the french director Jacques Becker with the french comic Fernandel also directed and produced in 1954. This movie was the second film where Samia Gamal appeared in techi-colour after "Valley of the Kings".
Ali Baba was a comedy based on the the famous tale of "Arabian nights" featuring Fernandel in the lead role as the slave who falls in love with his master's bride-to-be.
Samia married the rich american Texas oil millionaire Sheppard King, who converted to islam. It boosted the egyptian dancer her popularity as she hit frequently the news but their marriage didn't last long. In 1958 Samya Gamal married Roshdy Abaza, one of the most famous Arab Egyptian (probably of mixed Egyptian-Italian descent) actors with whom Samia starred in a number of movies as well. Funny enough Abaza plays in "Houwa oua al Nessaa" of 1966 the role of a man, unhappy with his marriage, who falls in love with a belly dancer whilst directing a new theatrical play. (Also starring Hend Rostom). She died in december 1st, 1994 in Cairo.
(thank you Ferida Jawad)
Samia [11:00] LoFi mp3 (Ahmed Fouad Hassan)