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 Bellydancers from Egypt

Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya

Shafiqah Alqebtieah was a student of the first egyptian bellydancer Shooq. She was born in 1851 in the "Shobra"-suburb in Cairo and escaped home at age of 12. Her first performance was in folks festivals. Shafika became the most famous dancer in Egypt after her master Shooq has passed away. Shafiqa's fans were used to throw the gold Egyptian pounds under her feet. Of Al Qibtiyya has been said that she was dancing wearing pair of shoes with golden heels. Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya was already a legend in her time in the 1920s. Chafika was born in a conservative and modest Coptic family. Her parents died when she was still young. After marriage she lived under poor circumstances and tried to better them doing dancing together with the almeh.
She was extremely beautiful and gifted and rose to fame by dancing in the "El dorado" nightclub. Shafie'a Qebtiyya was the first to do the candelambra dance. And not only that, she dances with those candles on her hear doing a spagaat at the same time! Among her admirers many ministers and other infuential people.Chafika el kebteya
This period marked the beginning of the era of famous dancers in Egypt.
Succesful dancers like Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya began to open their own salah (clubs). Shaafia owned the "Alf Leyla" or "1001 night" club.
Shafika el Kipteyya became extremely rich an danced on golden shoes but her succes did not only bring her money as she was such a big spender. She became addicted to cocaine and died in destitute in 1926. Meanwhile, the awalim of Mohamed Ali street enjoy a golden era of weddings and mawalid. The dance costume of Chafika el kebteya wasn't like that of her more famous sisters who 30 years later hit the scene.

The movie "Chafika el Kebteya" or "Shafika the Copt" of 1963 directed by "Hassan El IMAM" relates the story of this legendary oriental dancer. The film features Hind Rostom, Hassan Youssef, Zizi El Badrawi.

A contemporary of Shafika Al-Qibtiyya, Bamba Kashar, appeared in the very first full length Egyptian film ever made, this was in 1926.


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 Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya
The story of the movie goes as follows:
Born into a modest, conservative koptic family, Shafika has a tough life. Extremely beautiful and gifted for dance, she performs at Eldorado, a meeting place for her rich and influential admirers. Yet she cannot forget her son whom she looks after without telling anyone she actually is his mother. Tormented by jealousy, the prime minister, her lover, tries to keep his young rival away from her, all the more so as his own daughter wishes to marry Shafika's son. He manages to have him arrested on the basis of a false charge. A despondent Shafika resorts to drugs to forget her sorrow. Thus begins her downfall. Her health is ruined and her beauty fades. She ends up begging outside Eldorado. As to the prime minister's daughter, she decides to devote her life to God.

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 Née d'une famille conservatrice modeste, Chafika mène une vie de privations. D'une beauté remarquable et douée pour la danse, elle se produit à l'Eldorado, lieu de rendez-vous de ses admirateurs riches et influents. Cependant, rien ne peut lui faire oublier son fils dont elle s'occupe sans révéler à personne qu'elle est sa mère. Torturé par la jalousie, le premier ministre, son amant, cherche à écarter le jeune rival, d'autant plus que sa propre fille désire l'épouser. Il parvient à le faire arrêter grâce à une accusation fallacieuse. Abattue, Chafika a recours aux stupéfiants pour oublier sa douleur. C'est le début de sa déchéance. Sa santé décline et sa beauté se fane. Elle finit par mendier à l'entrée de l'Eldorado. Quant à la fille du premier ministre, elle consacre sa vie à Dieu.

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