Shafiqa al-Qibtia was a renowned Egyptian belly dancer who rose to fame in the early 20th century. She was born in Qift, a small town in Upper Egypt, in 1907. Her parents were both farmers, and Shafiqa grew up in a modest household with six siblings.
From a young age, Shafiqa showed an interest in dance. She would often watch the local women dance at weddings and other celebrations, and would try to imitate their moves. As she got older, she began to develop her own style and technique, blending traditional Egyptian dance with elements of ballet and modern dance.
In the 1920s, Shafiqa moved to Cairo to pursue a career in dance. She quickly made a name for herself in the city's bustling entertainment scene, performing at nightclubs and cabarets across the city. Her style was both elegant and sensual, and she was known for her fluid, graceful movements and intricate footwork.
Over the course of her career, Shafiqa became one of the most popular and beloved belly dancers in Egypt. She performed for audiences across the Middle East, as well as in Europe and the United States. Her performances were often accompanied by live music, and she worked with some of the most talented musicians of the time.
Despite her fame and success, Shafiqa remained humble and grounded. She was known for her kindness and generosity, and often donated her time and money to charitable causes. She was also deeply committed to preserving the traditions of Egyptian dance, and was a vocal advocate for the art form throughout her life.
Shafiqa continued to dance well into her later years, and remained an icon of Egyptian dance until her death in 1995. She left behind a legacy as one of the greatest belly dancers of all time, and her influence can still be seen in the work of dancers and choreographers around the world.