Hassiba Rochdi

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Hassiba Rochdi
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BornAround 1918
DiedSeptember 26, 2012
La Soukra
  • Actress
  • Singer

Hassiba Rochdi or Hassiba Rochdy (Arabic: حسيبة رشدي), whose real name is Zohra Bent Ahmed Ben Haj Abdennebi, is born around 1918 in Joumine[1] and died on September 26, 2012 in La Soukra[2], is a Tunisian Actor and Singing. She was the first renowned Tunisia|Tunisian singer in Egypt and the first Tunisian actress to play a leading role in Egyptian films[3].


Daughter of the eighth and last wife of her father, she was born into a family of owners and spent her childhood in Mateur where she learned Bedouin songs and started leaning sewing and embroidery[1]. During this period, she was influenced by Jewish singers1[1]. Following an argument with her father over a phonograph, she leaves the house to take refuge in Bizerte, but, brought back to her father, she is forcibly married. However, she managed to flee to Sfax where she was admitted to a theatrical troupe and started singing[1].

After becoming friends with the singer Fethia Khaïri, she meets Béchir Ressaïssi (Baidaphon records) who decides to take her to Paris to record her first songs on vinyl disc: El-Achaga harguetli guelbi ,, and most of all the great classic of popular music: Seg nahaak seg later taken over by Saliha (singer) on her own[4]. She was accompanied by several musicians including Mohamed Jamoussi and Mohamed Triki[5]. She ended up marrying the latter[6], which allowed her to enter the world of singing: her husband formed a troupe for her, bringing together musicians such as Hédi Jouini, Ali Sriti, Kaddour Srarfi and Ibrahim Salah[5].

Egyptian career

Divorced, she remarried to the American diplomat Henry Blake[5], assistant to the American consul in Tunis. She spent a few years in Brooklyn, a district of New York City, where she opened a restaurant bearing her name. Contacted in Paris by supporters of the nationalist party of Neo Destour, she was in charge of delivering documents to its leader Habib Thameur, then a refugee in Cairo[5]. Installed in an apartment, she is welcomed by the seraglio of King Farouk of Egypt[6] and organizes evenings where she meets the singer Sayed Chatta. He presents her to the director of the radio station in Cairo who, after an examination judged by Umm Kulthum in person, gives her a weekly concert[5]. Hassiba also performs in public with tenor Mohamed Abdelmottaleb[5].

She also embarked on the cinema by playing the main role of four films alongside great Egyptian actors[5]: Hob (Love) by Abdelaziz Hassine (1948)[7] with Mohsen Sarhan (in), Farid Chawky and Samiha Ayoub[8], Tariq Echouk (Path of thorns) by Husseïn Sedky (1950) with Farid Chawky, Dim'a Fessahr'a (Blood in the Desert) by Gianni Vernuccio (1951) with Emad Hamdy, and Intekam El Habib (Vengeance of the Lover) by Vernuccio (1952) with Yehia Chahine, Samia Gamal and Farid Chawky [7]. According to Adel Latrech, jealous Umm Kulthum would have participated, with the support of the powerful Egyptian cinema union, in putting an end to its activities[6].

Back to Tunisia

She came back to Tunisia and resumed her career in the 1950s: she shot for television and especially cinema where she played roles in films such as La Rebelle (1968) [7]and Sourakh (1972) by Omar Khlifi[7], Sous la pluie de l'automne (Under the rain of Autumn) (1969) by Ahmed Khchine[7], Khlifa le teigneux (1969) by Hamouda Ben Halima with Mouna Noureddine[5], Le Sultan de la médina by Moncef Dhouib (1992)[7] and Bent Familia by Nouri Bouzid (1997)[7]. She also plays in Goha[9] (1957) by Jacques Baratier with Omar Sharif and Claudia Cardinale.

Her main songs are Yalli Ouyounek fessama, Mahlaha tadhbilat ainek, Taht el yasmina, Taarafni naani wtaamal belaani, Sir ya lazrag sir or even Jesmi Baid Alik.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Melligi, Tahar (6 August 2007). "Hassiba Rochdy : un test concluant auprès d'Oum Kalthoum et Riadh Sombati". La Presse de Tunisie.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Décès de Hassiba Rochdi à l'âge de 94 ans". 26 September 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Bourial, Hatem (28 June 2017). "Hassiba Rochdi Diva oubliée".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "L'adieu à Hassiba, la dernière survivante de l'âge d'or de la chanson tunisienne". Leaders. 1 October 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Melligi, Tahar (13 August 2007). "Hassiba Rochdy (2) : la Tunisienne qui a chanté en Amérique". La Presse de Tunisie.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Latrech, Adel (27 February 2007). "L'empreinte du génie féminin". La Presse de Tunisie.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 "Hassiba Rochdi". Cinéma Tunisien. 25 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. She sings there songs composed by Ali Riahi and Hédi Jouini.
  9. "Goha le simple". IMDb.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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