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Samia Gamal: Five people who have had an impact on my life

We are delighted to present an article written by Samia Gamal herself, featured in February 1952 magazine El Kawakeb. Samia shares her reflections on five individuals who significantly impacted her life. Notably, she focuses exclusively on women, including her first dance teacher. Thanks to the kind contribution of Fatiha, we are able to offer you the translated version of this article. Dive into Samia's words and explore the profound influence of these remarkable women.


Five people who have had an impact on my life

By the artist Samia Gamal

Before flying to America, we asked the star Samia Gamal about the impact of her marriage to the wealthy American Sheppard Abdullah King on her life, and she said: " It is too early to talk about this matter, so I will leave it, for now, to talk about other people who have had the greatest impact on my life. They are five, each of whom holds a special place in my heart, and they were not male personalities, but female personalities."

1) My Mom

She was a great lady who loved her children. She was an exemplary model of gentleness, mercy and humanity. Like every mother of the old school, she taught me the housekeeping rules, how to make three types of eggplant dishes, how to fix socks, and other household chores... I also learned from her how to respect people and treat those older than me with respect and appreciation and those younger than me with an attitude that makes them respect me.

I learned a lot from her. I realized the value of the things she taught me once I started my own life and wanted to make my own way in the world of art."

2) My Sister

My sister was the second most important person in my life, as she took on the responsibility of managing my own affairs. This allowed me to focus all my efforts on the art.* She was like a mother to me who took care of her daughter. She used to prepare my meals, oversee the washing of my laundry, the cleanliness of my bed, and other tasks that, without her, would have consumed some of my efforts dedicated to my art!

3) Um Mohamed

Um Mohamed is not a leader, teacher, or writer, but rather a humble woman who was our neighbour in the house where I used to live when I started my artistic life. Although she was very conservative and traditionalist, she loved oriental dance. She could dance and imitate the famous dancers of Mohamed Ali Street. Um Mohamed was my first oriental dance teacher, she taught me the first dance steps and she did not leave me until I became one of the most famous dancers.

4) My friend "S"

This friend was my colleague on stage; we started our artistic careers together. She was a loyal friend who shared in my joys and sorrows and cared about me. She was always by my side when I felt distressed from the mistreatment that young female dancers used to face at the beginning of their artistic careers. I cannot mention her name as she retired and married a well-known personality. She now lives happily with her husband and two boys.

5) Badia Masabni

The fifth personality who had an impact on my life is Mrs Badia Masabni, the artist who deserves the utmost recognition for the remarkable growth achieved by the performing arts industry when I used to work in it. Badia was a great woman, and she had huge respect for the art of dance. I have learned many things from her, the most important of which are self-confidence, pride and dignity, and showing respect for oriental dance as an art rather than a mere source of sensationalism, which, unfortunately, some colleagues (mis)understand!

* "Fen" in Arabic literally means "art", when talking about dancing, singing, and performing.

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