Google Doodle has just honored the late Samia Gamal on what would have been her 93rd Birthday.
Gamal, an iconic Egyptian dancer who was also considered one of the most talented actors of her time, died in 1994 at age 70. She is credited with giving Egypt's Oriental Dance recognition and admiration both in her home country and worldwide.
She appeared in over 50 films during Egypt's golden era for cinema and arts.
In 1949, Egypt's King Farouk proclaimed Samia Gamal "The National Dancer of Egypt."
Here's a closer look at Gamal's life and career:
1. Zainab Ibrahim Mahfouz
Gamal was born 'Zainab Ibrahim Mahfouz' in 1924. She was later given the name 'Samia Gamal' by her mentor Badia Masabni.
2. Badia Masabni's Influence:
During her teenage years Gamal considered well known dancer 'Badia Masabni' as an inspiration and was overheard talking about her dream to meet her by a man who happened to be in the same cafe as Gamal. The man knew Masabni and went on to introduce the two.
3. In one of her earliest performances she was booed off stage
After Gamal's first solo performance on stage she was booed by the audience. This, however, made her even more adamant on achieving success and she went on to take private belly dancing lessons from famed choreographer Isaac Dickson.
4. Gamal not only found sucess as a dancer but also as an actor
Gamal appeared in more than 50 films and is considered an icon of Egyptian cinema. She also played a role in a French production and another in the 1954 American film 'Valley of the Kings'.
5. She was named a 'National star of Egypt'
In 1949, Egypt's King Farouk named her a 'National star of Egypt'.
6. She performed in New York
During her most successful years that carried on well into the 80's, Gamal performed her fusion of Latin style belly dancing in New York.