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Tahia Carioca (1915-1999) legend  oriental dance


Abla Muhammad Karim  was born in 1915 in Ismailia, Egypt.

She leaves her family after a violent argument at the age of 13 with her father Mohmed Karim and takes the train to Cairo.

Abla studied at the Ivanova dance school before moving to rue Mohammed Ali, Cairo's Broadway, at the Cabaret de Badia Massabni. At her beginnings in the 1930s, she danced the Brazilian samba. Tahia asks her percussionist Zaki to play Brazilian rhythms on her darbouka and since that time they have been called Tahia Carioca and Zaki Carioca.  Like Mohamed Abdelwahad does in his compositions, Tahia introduces Latin American rhythms into his show.

  At the Badia cabaret, the competition is very strong, especially with Samia Gamal who also started her career there. His shows are 20-25 minutes long and his fame is getting so strong


Between 1930 and 1940 she was invited to dance on the birthday of King Farouk of Egypt. His style is totally different  from that of her eternal rival, Samia  Gamal.

Tahia Carioca's first film  The woman and the puppet  in 1935 launched his film career. She will turn  more than 120 films with many stars of cinema or song like Farid Al Atrache and Mohamed Abdelwahab, without forgetting the theater and  the television that  make her famous throughout the Arab world.


Tahia is a very determined woman. This quality allows her to impose herself in the very harsh world of Cairo oriental dance at that time and at 31 she is already a legend.

Tahia's father had 7 wives  : she will double this “  score  with 14 husbands including renowned actors and singers like Rushdi Abaza and Muharram Fuad.

Like Samia Gamal, she also marries an American who converts to Islam and takes him to live in the United States. The marriage does not last long, he misses Egypt and the difference  culture does the rest. She divorces and returns to Egypt. Later she turned to orthodox Islam.

  Tahia Carioca disappeared on September 20, 1999.

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