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Styled Archives: Samia Gamal’s Most Memorable Moments

These hips don’t lie, they carve paths of stardom.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

Styled Archives: Samia Gamal’s Most Memorable Moments

Trailblazing her way through Egyptian history one swift and practiced swerve at a time, Egyptian belly dancer and silver-screen veteran, Samia Gamal, undoubtedly earned her status as a true Egyptian icon who remains to this very day a household name. With dreams to become the next Badia Masabani, the Syrian ‘Godmother of Oriental Dance’ and Egypt’s pioneering belly dance artist at the time, Gamal’s path to stardom began when she indeed - as fortune and timely connections would have it - began working under her idol.

Proclaimed by His Majesty King Farouk of Egypt, for whom she had frequently performed, as the ‘National Belly Dancer of Egypt,’ Gamal’s fame quickly seeped through the Egyptian scene, garnering the attention of renowned US-based Albanian photographer Gjon Mili, who invited Gamal for a photoshoot that would change the trajectory of her life.

Later marrying ‘Texas Billionaire’ Sheppard King III, Gamal’s career found its footing in America, allowing her to live a socialite dream that had remained, to many back home, nothing short of a fantasy. However, seeing how the marriage was short lived, Gamal later returned to Egypt, taking the silver-screen by storm. Having starred in over 50 classic cinematic works, Samia Gamal’s legacy continues to live on today.

From humble beginnings to international stardom, the ‘Butterfly of Egyptian Cinema’ seemingly took Egypt, and the world, by storm, forging for herself a dance identity hitherto unassumed by her predecessors, as she infused both Latin and Italian influences into her belly dance routines.

Glowing radiant with confidence, Gamal’s fashion echoed her always-rising star; daring, dashing, and debonair. For this week’s Styled Archives, we’re taking a look at some of her most memorable moments.

1950 | Photoshoot

In a 1950s photoshoot, Gamal absolutely stuns, donning a traditional Egyptian ‘kerdan’ necklace and headpiece.

1950 | Photoshoot With Gjon Mili

The photoshoot that altered her career trajectory, Samia Gamal is captured in a series of poses artfully layered by Albanian photographical prodigy, Gjon Mili.

1952 | Las Vegas, Nevada

Living the private jet life alongside billionaire and husband Sheppard King, Gamal smiles for the cameras looking stunning in an opulent fur coat layered above a classic pinstripe suit.

1960s | Photoshoot

Cruella De Vil? She could never. Posing in a soft satiny black and white off-shoulder dress - the irony of this being a black and white photograph is not lost on us - Gamal shows off a different side to her fashion.

1950 | Deauville, France

Commandeering the stage in a bedazzled two-piece suit, Gamal performed at the Deauville Casino for the Frano Egyptian Gala in front of His Majesty King Farouk.

1960 | Giza, Egypt

With two icons of Egyptian culture captured in one frame, it seems as though our beloved Sphynx got outshone by Miss Gamal.

1954 | ‘Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves’ Movie

Step aside Sasha Velour, this is the real queen of reveals. A vision in teal, Gamal’s performance in French classic ‘Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves’ remains relevant to this day.

1954 | BTS - ‘‘Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves’ Movie

And the award for best-dressed chef goes to…
Behind the scenes of the French classic, Gamal is pictured alongside French comic actor Fernandel as they seemingly stuff a sheep, proving that you can never truly be overdressed for any occasion.

1951 | Miami, Florida

Dressed in one of her more daringly gorgeous suits, Gamal’s face lights with excitement as she rehearses for her opening night performance at the Latin Quarter club in Miami Beach, Florida.

1960s | With Husband Roushdy Abaza

Looking pretty in plaid, Gamal shares an intimate look with husband and co-star Roushdy Abaza.