Rania Hussein Muhammad Tawfiq, known as Ruby or Rouby, is an Egyptian singer and actress. She started her career as a model, but rose to fame as a singer. Within a very short period she became renowned for her music as well as her beautiful body and sexy dance moves. Egyptian television has banned her music videos for being too sexy and seductive.
Ruby was born on 8 October 1981 in Cairo, Egypt. She started her career as a model. Later on, she decided to expand beyond the modeling world to become a singer and actress. Her big break was courtesy of the Polish singer Marcel Romanoff, who spotted Ruby in front of his audience at a performance in Cairo; Romanoff used her in the video for his song "Don't Make Me Cry." While she was a law student at Bani Suwayf University, Ruby began to appear in television commercials. She landed a role in the film Suqut Hansawwar, where she played a romantic, wealthy girl who falls in love with her driver. Rania got her new name, Ruby, during this stage of her career.
Ruby's first music video for her debut single "Inta arif leih" appeared in 2003, bringing about bitter criticisms concerning her belly dance costume. Nevertheless, the song, which was composed by Egyptian musician Muhammad Rahim, brought her fame. Her second video, titled "Leih Beydary Kadah," was considered by the critics as provocative as the first one. Her third video, "al-Gharam," was considered too erotic to be shown to the public, so it was banned by Egypt, Syria, and many other Arabic countries. The video was taken from Ruby's 2004 movie Saba Waraqat Kotchina (7 playing cards).
Later, Ruby released other videos such as "Ana Umri Mastaneat Hadd" and "Ghawi," which also were taken from the movie Saba Waraqat Kotchina. This movie, directed by Sherif Sabri, was censored in Egypt due to its sexual content. In 2005, Sabri directed another video for Ruby titled "Ibqaa Qabilni." The clip's storyboard was about an ancient Egyptian dancing seductively and playing with a snake.
Ruby has received support from Melody Hits TV, which always broadcasts her videos' premieres. It is believed that this has been a result of Sabri's agreement with this TV channel. It is rumored that Ruby married her mentor Sabri; however, both of them have denied this. Ruby was scheduled to work on the video for her song "Taht al-Dush" (Under the shower). The media in and outside of Egypt has tried to guess what the upcoming video will be like. However, Ruby's style and the name of the upcoming clip are the best clues for this.
INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Ruby was influenced by Polish singer Romanoff who saw her at his performance in front of an audience at the American University in Cairo. Romanoff found the Arabic beauty he was looking for in Ruby for his video. Appearing in Romanoff's video influenced Ruby deeply, because it spurred her to change her career goals and become a singer and actress. After her work in television commercials, she became known by thousands. As she became more well known, she received offers to play roles in films. However, she became famous immediately after her first music video, 2003's "Inta arif leih," which was directed by Sabri, who is believed to be the most influential person over Ruby. In addition to producing Ruby's songs, Sabri takes every occasion to defend her to the public, arguing that her videos are artistic, tasteful, and rhythmic. In his view, Ruby does not push the social borders and she has started a trend. Egyptian singer Rahim, who composed the majority of Ruby's music at the beginning of her career, was also influential over her career. As a talented, persistent, and decisive artist, Ruby seems destined to become an example for many singers in Egypt and beyond.
THE WORLD'S PERSPECTIVE
Global perceptions of Ruby generally have been positive, and interest in her music videos is great. Her fame as an artist grew very fast. Even though many Arabic countries have banned her videos and films because of her provocative style and suggestive moves, she has become more and more popular in those countries and abroad. It is obvious that star has pushed the borders of Egypt and perhaps will become well known worldwide.
It is believed that Ruby is more popular than any politician or intellectual figure in Egypt. According to a survey held by a Cairo newspaper, Ruby is the most interesting person in Egypt. The censorship committee of the country considers her as one of the top seductive singers, thus deciding to ban the airing of her songs.
Name: Rania Hussein Muhammad Tawfiq, known as Ruby or Rouby
Birth: 1981, Cairo, Egypt
Education: Studied at Bani Suwayf University, Egypt
- 2001: Starred in the movie Suqut Hansawwar
- 2003: First music video "Inta arif leih" is released
- 2004: Second video "Leih Beydary Kadah" is released
Ruby's official Web site. Available from http://ruby.tv/.
Sharp, Heather. "Sexy Stars Push the Limit in Egypt." BBC News (4 August 2005). Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4722945.stm.
Adil M. Asgarov