Filler
Photo of Shira

 

 

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

Set el Hosen: Prettiest of the Pretty

 

By Priscilla Adum

 

The song "Set El Hosen" was written for Nagwa Fouad by Mohamed Sultan. He was the husband of famous singer Faiza Ahmed.

The phrase Set El Hosen is a common phrase in Egypt. It is used to describe a woman who is prettier than most. It means (roughly) "Prettiest of the Pretty" or even "Queen of the Pretty". It does not mean "Beautiful Lady" as some people believe.

There is an old Mohamed Fawzy/Nour el Hoda song called "Set El Hosen" which they sang in a film. That's a completely different song.

Mohamed Sultan's Set El Hosen doesn't have any lyrics; however, some background singers can be heard in the video of Nagwa Fouad's performance to the song. These are not really lyrics but rather they are just words repeated over and over: "Allah Esmalla, Allah Esmalla, Allah, Allah, Allah, Set el hosen halaaa." These are common words in Egypt — and in Arabic in general, for that matter, and people use them when they see something pretty. It's just an exclamation. "Set el hosen halaa" just means "the beautiful one has arrived". Esmalla or Smallah is just a protracted version of Bessem Allah.

Another bit of trivia: "Set el Hosen" is also a character in Arabic fairy tales and in Arabic bedtime stories. Also, the belladonna plant (nightshade) is called "Set El Hosen" in Egypt.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Nagwa Fouad dancing to the song "Oolooloo" in her silver screen debut, in the motion picture Sharia el Hob (Love Street).

Nagwa Fouad

 

---------------

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. 

Priscilla

 

---------------

Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on Shira.net using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from Shira.net into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on Shira.net along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.

 

 

Explore more belly dance info:

Top >
Belly Dancing >
Index to Middle Eastern Music Section

 

Share this page!

On Google+
 

On Facebook
 

 

 Top > Belly Dancing >

| Contact Shira | Mailing List | Links | Search this Site |