Alf Ta7yeh
  • Alf Ta7yeh
  • Yazan Al Rousan
  • Agwa No3

Autostrad - Alf Taheya

اوتوستراد - ألف تحية

The lyrics are a satircal take on the Arab tradition of a Taheya from a wedding, Taheya would be loosely translated to something between a salutation and an ode, delivered by either an MC or a guest.

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Taheya Karioka (1956) كاريوكا‎ تحية The 1956 film ‘Shabab Imra’a’ (‘A Woman’s Youth’ or sometimes titled in English as ‘The Leech’. In Arabic the title is شباب امرأة) starred Taheya Karioka, Shadia, Shukry Sarhan and Seraj Munir. The film tells the story of Imam, a country boy (Sarhan) who travels to Cairo to finish his studies. He’s seduced by his landlady (Karioka) but over time he neglects his obligations to his family, his studies and even his religion. When he tries to end the relationship she attempts to force him to give up everything he believes in. She meets an extremely unpleasant death at the end of the film murderously assisted by veteran Egyptian actor Abdel Wares Asar. In this scene Karioka dances for Imam, Sarhan’s character, then seduces him. There’s plenty of symbolism of consummation in the last scene! According to the ‘Egypt Independent’, there was a dust-up between Karioka and Hollywood star Susan Hayward at the Cannes showing of ‘Shabab Imra’a’. A translated article says: “Famous for dazzling performance and dances, Taheya Karioka appeared in several Egyptian cinema classics. At the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, where Karioka’s movie was being screened, Karioka almost pounced on Hollywood star Susan Hayward after the latter made a comment against Egypt. The trembling Hayward fled just in time before Karioka could give her a severe beating. It is said that Karioka’s shoe went flying in the direction of Hayward, who deftly dodged it. The shoe ended up hitting one of the festival’s guests.”

A photograph of Taheya Karioka.

Photograph featuring Taheya Karioka taken in 1948.

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Setrak Sarkissian Lebanese-Armenian drummer Setrak Sarkissian is a legend in Arabic music. Born in Beirut, Lebanon and still resident there, Setrak had to overcome family resistance to have a career in music. When he was young, his family even went so far as to break his drum! Setrak has played tabla for many of the most famous singers and bellydancers in the Middle East including singers Warda, Sabah and Samira Tawfik and bellydancers Taheya Karioka, Nadia Gamal and Ranine plus so many others. This clip is a rarity as it showcases Setrak himself. Many Western dancers would know Setrak from his music cds and if you’re a bellydancer you’ve probably, knowingly or not, danced to Setrak’s music.. In 2009 Setrak was awarded the St. Mesrob Mashtots medal by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia. St. Mesrob Mashtots is credited with having invented the Armenian alphabet.