Mounira El Mahdeya
Born Zakiyya Hassan, famous mainly as a singer known as the Sultana of Song, she was born in Alexandria where she attended a French Nuns’ school. She started her career in show business singing and dancing in local coffee houses of the day before making her debut on screen in Hassan el Emam’s film The Sultanas of Song (Soltanat al Tarab). She acquired what acting skills she had from joining the Aziz Eid Theatre Troupe known for fostering talents of stars like Fatma Rushdi.
Rooted mainly in the tradition of the time, she had the typical looks of the day, with large smoky eyes and short wavy hair. A characteristically opulent but pleasing figure made her a typical star in the tradition of the great singing divas with a characteristically local touch. She enjoyed great popularity with fans from different social classes and was succeeded perhaps only by her upcoming contemporary Omm Kalthoum.
1935: The Coquette (el Ghandourah)