Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt's Roaring '20s
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
A vibrant portrait of the talented and entrepreneurial women who defined an era in Cairo.
One of the world’s most multicultural cities, twentieth-century Cairo was a magnet for the ambitious and talented. During the 1920s and ’30s, a vibrant music, theater, film, and cabaret scene flourished, defining what it meant to be a “modern” Egyptian. Women came to dominate the Egyptian entertainment industry—as stars of the stage and screen but also as impresarias, entrepreneurs, owners, and promoters of a new and strikingly modern entertainment industry.
Raphael Cormack unveils the rich histories of independent, enterprising women like vaudeville star Rose al-Youssef (who launched one of Cairo’s most important newspapers); nightclub singer Mounira al-Mahdiyya (the first woman to lead an Egyptian theater company) and her great rival, Oum Kalthoum (still venerated for her soulful lyrics); and other fabulous female stars of the interwar period, a time marked by excess and unheard-of freedom of expression. Buffeted by crosswinds of colonialism and nationalism, conservatism and liberalism, “religious” and “secular” values, patriarchy and feminism, this new generation of celebrities offered a new vision for women in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.
women, 20th century, feminist, mounira al-mahdiyya, 1920s, dance, history, music, cultural revolution, theater, modern, 1930s, egyptian, film, celebrity, rose al-youssef, middle east, nightlife, art, umm kalthoum, feminism