Tahya Karioka is one of the most influential figures in Egyptian cinema and belly dancing history.
Egypt Today celebrates the birthday of legendary Tahia Karioka which passed away on September 20, 1999.
Badaweyya al Nidany aka Tahya Karioka was born in Ismailia, on February 22 1915.
She lived a sad childhood where she was subjected to all kinds of physical abuse at the hands of her eldest brother.
At the age of 13 she decided to escape from her brother torture and go to Cairo to connect with an artist named Soad Mahsen, who was one of her brother acquaintances.
Gradually, Karioka started to discover her passion with dancing.
She started dancing at the age of 20 when she joined Masabni’s group.
In 1940 Karioka introduced a dance which was called after her, and the name adhered to her ever since.
Later Karioka participated in seven films until 1942, most of them were directed by Togo Mizrahi who was the first to take note of her.
She decided to produce films to stabilize her stature as an actress, to achieve this purpose she founded along with actor Hussein Sedky and director Hussein Fawzi, a production company entitled ‘’Youth Films’’.
They produced ‘’ Aheb el Ghalat’’ (I Like Doing Wrong Things) movie in 1942 which marked Tahia’s first leading role.
The film succeeded and was followed by more successful film which was ‘’ Ta’eet el Ekhfaa’’ (The Concealment Cap) directed by Niazi Mostafa in 1944.
Karioka’s stardom reached its peak co-starring the late great actor Naguib el Rihany in ‘’ L’ebet el Set” (The Lady's Game) in 1946, where the film achieved booming success placing Karioka among Egypt’s big movie stars.
With the end of World War II, musical comedies began to rise. Tahia worked in this type of movies with most prominent comedy stars such as Ismail Yassin in 3 movie which are ‘’ El Batal” (The Hero) in 1950, ‘’Hamaty Konbela Zareya’’ ( My Mother-in-Law is an Atomic Bomb) in (1951) and ‘’ Sahibat el Esema’’ (Her Ladyship).
Karioka played supporting roles alongside leading roles such as her role with Faten Hamama in A Good Fellow (1951) by Seif El-Din Shawkat, and with Magda in Beach of Secrets (1958) by Atef Salem.
Karioka went through a number of failed marriages reached to 14 times.
One of her husband named Mostafa Kamal Sidqy was the Iron Guard commander before the July Revolution. Both were arrested, among others, with plotting to overthrow the regime and imprisoned in 1954.
Before Tahia was jailed, she had performed 62 the most important of wish was her iconic movie “ Shabab Emra’a” (A Woman’s Youth) directed by Salah Abu-Seif and ‘’Samara’’ by Hassan El-Seify both were produced in 1956.
Karioka’s natural talent for acting enabled her to continue as an actress after quitting belly dancing dancing.
Karioka was famous for her patriotic stances towards the British occupation in Egypt. Her distinguishable Egyptian style influenced many of her colleagues and the heritage of this ancient form of art.
She believed it to be depiction of profound emotions and refined spiritual feelings, not merely an expression.
When wrinkles began to appear on her beautiful face she started to play mother roles such as her immortal role in ‘’ Khaly Balak Men Zouzou” (Take Care of Zouzou) movie directed by Hassan el Emam.
Karioka’s artistic career spanned over six decades, and passed away 20 September 1999.