Thursday, March 08, 2007

Naima Akef in Tamra Henna

One of the most famous dancers of all time. Stunning.
Naima Akef (Arabic:نعيمة عاكف) born on 7 October 1929 was a famous Egyptian dancer during the Egyptian cinemas golden age and starred in many films of the time. Naima Akef was born in Tanta on the Nile Delta. Her parents were acrobats in the Akef Circus (run by Naima’s grandfather), which was one of the most well-known circuses at the time. She started performing in the circus at the age of four, and quickly became one of the most popular acts with her acrobatic skills. Her family was based in the Bab el Khalq district of Cairo, but they traveled far and wide in order to perform.

Tamra Henna (1957 - also spelt Tamr Henna) is an enduring Egyptian classic that features many prominent names from that era. Rushdy Abaaza was one of the most popular and accomplished actors of his time. It is the story of a young Ghaziya (an Egyptian Sintii Gypsy) who want's the finer things in life. She dances at the mawlids( a saint's day celebration in Egypt which is part of the Shi'ite tradition) near her betrothed's fair booth which is a strength testing booth. There is one man who seems to threaten his relationship with Tamra Henna - he is the rich son of a wealthy family and is engaged to his rich cousin because his father wishes to gain more wealth and land. However the son does not wish to marry his cousin for he has fallen in love with Tamr Henna.

His wealth attracts Tamra Henna's attention and eventually she pretends to be a wealthy niece of a friend of the son's family. She charms the father so much that he decides to seek her hand in marriage so that his son and him will both marry wealthy women and greatly increase their wealth and status. However things go wrong and in the end Tamra Henna realizes she does not need the wealth and was better of as a poor Ghaziya. A must see!

Sahra Saeeda's performance series has a truely wonderful interpretation of Tamra Henna and lot's of explaination about the move.

See Shira's site for lyrics:

I highly recommend watching the original movie! In some ways is is similar to Romeo and Juliette.

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