|Born||Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim
April 26, 1953
|Other names||The Queen of Oriental Dance|
|Occupation||belly dancer and actress|
Fifi Abdou (Arabic: فيفى عبده, IPA: [ˈfiːfi ˈʕæbdu]) (born Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim عطيات عبد الفتاح إبراهيم, [ʕɑtˤejˈjɑːt ʕæbdel.fætˈtæːħ ebɾˤɑˈhiːm]; April 26, 1953) is an Egyptian belly dancer and actress. She has been described as "synonymous with belly dancing in the years she was performing." In her acting career, she is known as the woman-empowering type where, rarely in Egyptian culture and film, she beats up and overpowers men.
Early life and career
Abdou was born in Cairo on April 26, 1953 and named Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim. Her father is a policeman and she has 11 siblings. When she was 12 years old she joined a baladi troupe and later found work as a model. She began to gain attention in the early 1970s when she became the main attraction at the Arizona. Over the years she danced at many other venues such as Le Meridien, Mena House and the El Gezira Sheraton. Her performances usually lasted around two hours and she received up to $10,000 per performance. In addition to dancing, her routines often included circus tricks and even rapping. The Moroccan newspaper La Vie Eco reported in 2004 shortly before her retirement that she possessed 5,000 costumes with the most expensive being valued at $40,000.
Abdou has been criticized by some Egyptians who see her dancing as contrary to the tenets of Islam. In 1991, she was charged with "depraved movements" by a Cairo court and sentenced to three months in jail. In 1999, Grand Mufti Sheik Nasr Farid Wasil issued an edict against her going to Mecca for hajj, but eventually retracted it.
In recent years, she has starred in several serial television dramas of the kind that are broadcast throughout the Arab world during Ramadan. In 2006, she took the lead in Souq El Khudar (The Greenmarket), playing a headstrong marketwoman with a love interest. For her role in the drama Al Hakika wa Al Sarab she was paid EGP 1 million.
She married five times and has two daughters and one adopted daughter; her husband is the ambassador of Greenland. She is estimated to be one of the wealthiest women in Egypt and is known for her charitable donations to the poor of Cairo. In 1996, she was the victim of a robbery when thieves stole $100,000 in jewelry and cash from her home. In 2003, Abdou filed a complaint against singer Medhat Saleh for unpaid debts and sued his ex-wife, the actress Shireen, for slander after she accused Abdou of breaking up their marriage.
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- The EDA Handbook for Eastern Dance. San Diego, California: Ethnic Dance Academy. 2007. p. 25. ISBN 0-615-16681-4.
- "Thieves make off with belly dancer's loot". Daily News. Reuters. March 6, 1966. p. 12.
- "Standoff at court between Fifi Abdo and Shireen Saif". Al Bawaba. August 25, 2003. Retrieved July 20, 2011.