Born Zainab Ibrahim Mahfuz in Wana, Egypt. After her mother died in 1930 her father remarried and moved to Cairo to be near Khan Khalili. When her father died four years later, she was driven out of her step-mother’s house. A year or so later she was introduced to Badia Masabni who hired her as one of the corps dancers for her troupe and gave her the stage name of Samia Gamal. It is said that Samia was the first to perform with high heeled shoes on stage. In her early 20s she fell in love with Farid al-Atrash, 12 years her senior. Her first cinema appearance at age 19 in Intishar al-Shabab (1941) was the movie Farid made with his sister Asmahan that turned him in to a household name. Some say Samia and Farid were together 11 years before King Farouk put an end to it. Other sources say a lesser amount of time, 6 years. What is certain is that Farid risked everything to produce a movie for her, Habib al-Omr, released in 1947. The ensuing financial windfall and notoriety made them both a fixture of Egyptian cinema during the rest of the 1940s and 50s. Samia made a total of 5 films with Farid: Habib al-Omr 1947 Afreeta Hanim 1947 Ahebbak Enta 1949 Akher Kedba 1950 Ta3ala Salim 1951
When King Farouk broke the couple up in 1951, Farid seduced the king’s wife. This was shortly before the Egyptian Revolution in 1952. Farouk was not pleased but soon found himself exiled from the country. When Farouk’s wife divorced him and returned to Egypt, a stormy love affair broke out between her and Farid. The singer and the tabloids were delighted. As for Samia, she married a rich Texan in 1952 and moved to the US.
This marriage did not last and Samia moved back to Egypt after about 5 years. She married one last time, to Rushdy Abaza, which also ended in divorce after 10 years, in 1977, when he married the Lebanese singer Sabah.
For a much more complete biography of Samia in English visit this link on Shira.net:
Serpentine Communications, Inc. | 4930 Saint Elmo Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 |