Youssef Nabil, MY BED, FIFI ABDOU
01 Photograph, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #36

Youssef Nabil, b. 1972, Egyptian
MY BED, FIFI ABDOU, CAIRO, 2000

Hand-coloured gelatin silver print
26 by 40 cm.; 10¼ by 15¾ in.
Private collection

Fifi Abdou, born Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim, April 26, 1953, is an Egyptian belly dancer and actress. She has been described as “synonymous with belly dancing in the years she was performing.” In her acting career, she is known as the woman-empowering type where, rarely in Egyptian culture and film, she beats up and overpowers men. Now she is considered an icon on social media, where she is one of the most active and most followed celebrities in the Arab world. Through her posts including regular belly dancing videos, she is known to be very cheerful and empowering with no constraints.

Her father is a policeman and she has 11 siblings, including her brother Abdelraheem Abdul Fattah Ibrahim, who encouraged her career. When she was 12 years old she joined a baladi troupe and later found work as a model. She began to gain attention in the early 1970s when she became the main attraction at the Arizona. Over the years she danced at many other venues such as Le Meridien, Mena House and the El Gezira Sheraton. Her performances usually lasted around two hours and she received up to $10,000 per performance. In addition to dancing, her routines often included circus tricks and even rapping. The Moroccan newspaper La Vie Eco reported in 2004 shortly before her retirement that she possessed 5,000 costumes with the most expensive being valued at $40,000. More on Fifi Abdou

Youssef Nabil (born 6 November 1972) is an Egyptian artist and photographer. Nabil started his photography career in 1992. In 1997, Nabil worked in Paris with the Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino till late 1998. In 1999, Youssef Nabil had his first solo exhibition in Cairo.

Nabil left Egypt in 2003 for an artist residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. In 2006, he moved to live and work in New York.

Nabil’s work has been presented on numerous international solo and group exhibitions, at venues including the British Museum, London; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle; Centre de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; The Third Line, Dubai;[3] The Townhouse gallery, Cairo; Galerist, Istanbul; Marco Noire gallery, Turin; Nathalie Obadia gallery, Paris; Yossi Milo gallery, New York; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla; Aperture Foundation, New York and Villa Medici, Rome. More on Youssef Nabil

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