Naïma Akef, bellydance superstar of the 1950's.
Born in Tanta 10/7/1939, Naema Akef started her career at a very young age. The prodigy started performing at the Akef Circus, owned by her family. Naima engaged in all types of professional acrobatic games and circus art. Soon Na'ema became the most talented player and the starring feature of the circus.
After her circus carreer she started to work in Badia Masabni's famous nightclub, where she danced and sang. Her talents as singer and dancer soon made her one of the big and leading stars of Badia Masabni's ensemble. This would bring her to a succesful movie carreer.
Together with Samia Gamal and Tahia Karioka, she was one of the great legends of oriental dance and in her short lifespan became one of the monuments of Egyptian culture.
Hussein Fawzy and Egyptian movie director discovered her and soon Na'ema's career skyrocketed. Fawzy directed more than fifteen movies for Naima Akef. Director Hussein Fawzy couldn't resist the charms of Naima and their working relationship turned into a love relationship, the two got married consequently. Naëma continued to blossom and soon became the most famous musical performer-actress in Egyptian cinema. Na'ema Fawzy joined one of the first professional folkloric groups in the country, Lail Ya Ayn Group, and contributed much to its success.
In 1957, she was nominated as the best dancer in a folklore contest at the Youth Festival held in Moscow. She quit acting in 1964 and devoted the rest of her time to taking care of her son from her second marriage to the accountant, Salah Abdel Aleem. Her greatest movie was perhaps Ya tamr Henna (also then name of a popular song), directed by her husband where she played the role of a young ghawazee dancer doing a stick dance and sang a few songs.
That Naïma didn't restrict herself to Egyptian culture was proved by the movie Ya Halawaat Al Hob (1952) where she did some tapdancing.
Naïma Akef's gracefull performance was never vulgar. Naima did sing, dance and act in several movies, mostly black and white productions. The great Nagua Fuad called Naema Akef her great source of inspiration. "Na'ema moved like magic" Nagua used to say. Naima Akef died of cancer at young age - she was only 27 - in April 23, 1966.
The world lost that day a great Egyptian artist and a dance legend.
Naema Akef most known movies were besides Tamr Henna featuring Ahmed Ramzy, Fayza Ahmed and Rushdy Abaza were Aziza where the song Aziza by Mohamed Abdelwahab - later also covered by Hossam Ramzy - became legendary and Naema Akef's first full color feature film Amir El Dahaa of 1964 .