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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Badia Masabni Fights Back Against the Competition



By Priscilla Adum




Beba Ezz el-Din's Challenge

The source where this photo was found did not identify the original publication where it appeared, or the date. Considering the content of the caption, it probably appeared sometime between March 1937 and late 1939.

The caption says:

Badia Masabni prepares new shows in response to Beba Ezz El Din's challenge. With her are:

  • Abou El Seoud el Ebiary (lyricist)
  • Ezzat el Gahli (composer)
  • Farid Ghosn (composer) [Translator's note: he appears on the right side of the photo, with the oud. He also appears onscreen with Badia Masabni in a 1966 televised interview, playing the oud for her as she sings and plays sagat.]
  • Edward Fares (dance trainer)

The caption refers to the rivalry that existed between Badia Masabni and Beba Ezz El Din, particularly after Beba "bought" Badia's first club from her besotted boyfriend Antoine Issa. Antoine was Badia's nephew, to whom Badia had given a power of attorney. Antoine sold the club to Beba without Badia's knowledge or permission.

Sala Badia opened under Beba's ownership on March 11, 1937, with a show that included music by el-Ghosn and a play written by El Ebiary. By the end of April, both were working with Badia Masabni to prepare material for her summer show in Giza.

Badia recovered from the shock and opened a new club right next door to her old one which was now run by Beba and Antoine. The two women became competitors, always trying to outdo each other with innovative programs and eye-catching newspaper ads.

Badia and Musicians



Related Articles

About Badia Masabni


Badia, the Club Owner


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About Beba Ezz el-Din



Flyers and Ads



About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 




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