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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Mary Ezz el-Din: Casino Owner, Actress, and Singer


By Priscilla Adum




About Mary Ezz el-Din

Mary Ezz el-Din was a casino owner, actress, and singer who appeared in over 35 films from 1950 until the late 1970's. Her casino was located on Emad El Din street in Cairo.

She ran it together with Youssef Ezz el-Din. It is unclear what relationship, if any, existed between the two. Youssef had owned a theater ensemble in the early days, one which Ismail Yassin and Mary Mounib had both been members of.

So far as I know, Mary Ezz el-Din was not related to Beba Ezz el-Din.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photo shows Mary Ezz el-Din.

Mary Ezz el-Din



Advertisements for the Club

Here are three advertisements that appeared in Al Ahram newspaper advertising the Ezz el-Din Casino and shows.

This advertisement clipping was undated, but is believed to be from the 1930's. Click here for the translation.

1930's Advertisement for Casino Ezz el-Din

This advertisement appeared in Al Ahram on October 15, 1939. Click here for the translation. 1939 Advertisement for Casino Ezz el-Din
This advertisement appeared in Al Ahram on October 31, 1939. Click here for the translation. 1939 Advertisement for Casino Ezz el-Din



In Cinema

This video clip shows Mary Ezz el-Din with some dancers in the 1955 film Lahn el Wafaa (Song of Truth) which starred Abdel Halim Hafez in his very first film role and the singer Shadia.

The dancers in this scene are background dancers that appear in many Egyptian films. The shimmy that they do here is very typical of this era.

This scene takes place at a club on Mohamed Ali Street. In fact, the sign in Arabic at 0:13 says Mohamed Ali Street. The father and his young son travel by train from Alexandria to Cairo where the father plans to try his luck as a music composer. They stop to get a bite to eat before continuing to a club where one of his friends works as a musician. The club is owned by an almée, played by Mary Ezz el-Din. She is the singer in this scene.

Mary Ezz el-Din with Dancers

ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Both photos show the scene from Lahn al-Wafaa featured in the video clip. Click on both to see more detail. The photo below shows what Golden Era nightclub stages were like.

Mary is singing "El Helw fi el Varanda", which Fatme Serhan would later sing in many of Dina's shows. The song title means, "The Beautiful One on the Veranda", which refers to a large, usually semicircular balcony that used to be typically found on old Egyptian villas. The lyricist was Fathi Oura, a very famous Egyptian song writer, and the composer was Ibrahim Hassan.

The dancer Dina has used the song "El Helw fi el Varanda" in many of her shows. For a time, the singer who performed it in her shows was Fatme Serhan, and more recently it was Hoda Sinbati.

Mary Ezz el-Din in Lahn el-Wafaa



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About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 




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