A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Youssef Nabil's "I Saved My Belly Dancer": An Homage to the Golden Age with Salma Hayek

The Golden Age of Egyptian belly dancing, say from the 1930s to the 1960s, has been an occasional subject of this blog; from the era of Tahia Carioca and Samia Gamal to that of Nagwa Fouad and Fifi Abdou. Islamists and state puritanism have soured the art and reduced it to a bump-and-grind shadow of itself at its artistic peak.
Egyptian artist and photographer Youssef Nabil has evoked the period in a series of photographs and a video entitled "I Saved My Belly Dancer." A selection of photos here, and articles reviewing it here and here. To add to the appeal, the photos and the video star actress Salma Hayek. The Mexican actress is, of course, of Arab ancestry as her name reveals.

It's artsy and the Western theme seems a bit forced. The full video doesn't appear to be online, but a four minute excerpt is below. That is, for those who are still reading and didn't just jump to the video when they read the words "Salma Hayek."

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