EGYPT: Exit Ismahcm

Cairo's cabarets first heard the sultry voice of Amal el Atrash 20 years ago.

She was a slim 12 then, a desert torch singer fresh from Syria's Jebel Druse country. But Ama's family frowned on such shamelessness ; they bustled her into marriage with Cousin Emir Hassan, chief of the Druses.

For a year Amal lived in pampered boredom in a Syrian mountain villa. Then Cairo's footlights called irresistibly. She divorced the Emir, hurried to Egypt, married a film director, divorced him within a year. By that time she had a new career: she...

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