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Tahia Carioca: Dancing as Oum Kalthoum Sang


Translated By Priscilla Adum





Taheya Carioca stated, "I was the only dancer ever to dance with Oum Kulthoum while she sang." This is according to an article in El Fagr newspaper that appeared on August 29, 2011. El Fagr published a half page article in its print version about Taheya Carioca which was based on Taheya's memoirs. These memoirs were written in the late 60's by author Saleh Morsi and were published in installments in Kawakeb magazine in the 70's.

The original online version of the El Fagr article about Taheya Carioca was at, retrieved on September 9, 2011. The El Fagr web site is no longer online; however, the original article in Arabic can still be viewed via WebArchive.

Taheya Carioca



El Fagr Article from August 29, 2011


Among the anecdotes that are written in the book was the time that she danced onstage with Oum Kulthoum while The Diva sang "Ghanili Shwaya Shwaya". Taheya Carioca recalls that Oum Kulthoum always reserved a seat for her in the front row of her performances because they were such close friends. On this particular day in 1948 Oum Kulthoum was to sing at a theater performance in honor of the El Ahly football team who had won a local championship. Taheya called her on the phone and told her that she wasn't going to attend but that she would listen to the live broadcast of the show on the radio. At the last minute Taheya changed her mind and went.

When Taheya arrived, the theater was packed. Therefore, she watched the show from backstage, and was dancing to herself as she listened. Oum Kulthoum noticed her dancing, took her by the hand, and brought her onstage in front of the audience. And so she danced while Oum Kulthoum sang.

The following day this made the headlines and all the newspapers reported the story of how Taheya Carioca had danced while El Sitt ("The Lady") sang.




Al Qabas Article from March 8, 2011

This article appeared March 8, 2011. It originally was online at . However, it appears that link no longer works. The translation of the section about dancing with Oum Kalthoum is as follows:

Tahia Carioca danced in front of Oum Kulthoum at the El Ahly Club party, the one that El Ahly held to celebrate their victory in the Dawri Championship. This was the only time that Oum Kulthoum sang with a dancer in front of her. The audience applauded twice, once for Oum Kulthoum and once for Taheya Carioca. So much so, that Oum Kulthoum said to her, "You sing with your waist". Because Tahia was just as innovative in her dancing as Oum Kulthoum was innovative in her singing.




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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