Fifi Abdou

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Fifi Abdou
Born Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim
(1953-04-26) April 26, 1953 (age 61)
Cairo, Egypt
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."[1] 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[edit]

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, including her famous brother Abdelraheem Abdul Fattah Ibrahim, who encouraged her career. When she was 12 years old she joined a baladi troupe[2] and later found work as a model.[3] She began to gain attention in the early 1970s when she became the main attraction at the Arizona.[4] 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.[5]

Abdou has been criticized by some Egyptians who see her dancing as contrary to the tenets of Islam.[2] In 1991, she was charged with "depraved movements" by a Cairo court and sentenced to three months in jail.[6] In 1999, Grand Mufti Sheik Nasr Farid Wasil issued an edict against her going to Mecca for hajj, but eventually retracted it.[7]

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 is also planning on acting in a television series Ramadan 2014 with her brother Abdelraheem. It is to be about her childhood and success.[8]

Personal life[edit]

She married five times and has two daughters and one adopted daughter;[2] 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.[9] In 1996, she was the victim of a robbery when thieves stole $100,000 in jewelry and cash from her home.[10] 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. ".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Watson, Steve, "Famous Egyptians", Impressions Magazine, n.d. Retrieved November 28, 2006
  2. ^ a b c Fam, Mariam (August 29, 2001). "Egypt's Queen". Star-News. Associated Press. 
  3. ^ MacDonald, Myra (January 8, 1990). "New age of belly-dancing". New Straits Times. Reuters. p. 11. 
  4. ^ Kirk, Donald (February 16, 1976). "Egypt opens door to the big spenders". Chicago Tribune. p. A4. 
  5. ^ "Quand la danse orientale prend son petit air BCBG". La Vie Eco. October 29, 2004. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2 Top Egyptian Belly Dancers Sentenced". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reuters. December 5, 1991. p. 15A. 
  7. ^ "Cleric retracts edict against belly dancers going to Mecca". Associated Press. April 13, 1999. 
  8. ^ "Wages of Egyptian actors and actresses hit sky high". Al Bawaba. November 11, 2003. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ The EDA Handbook for Eastern Dance. San Diego, California: Ethnic Dance Academy. 2007. p. 25. ISBN 0-615-16681-4. 
  10. ^ "Thieves make off with belly dancer's loot". Daily News. Reuters. March 6, 1966. p. 12. 
  11. ^ "Standoff at court between Fifi Abdo and Shireen Saif". Al Bawaba. August 25, 2003. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]