Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Get access

Messika, Ḥabiba
(546 words)

Ḥabība Messika (Messica) was born into a family of Jewish musicians in Tunisia in 1899. She studied voice and the piano with her aunt Layla Sfez. At the age of twenty she embarked on her performing career as a wedding singer. Later she was attracted to the theater. Her teacher in this area was Muḥammad Bourgiba, and thanks to him she played leading roles in famous comedies and world-famous dramas. It is sometimes said that she was more talented as an actress than as a singer. In her time she was seen as an ideal woman not only for her talent and beauty bu…

Cite this page
Yosef Tobi, “Messika, Ḥabiba”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 18 October 2021
First published online: 2010

▲   Back to top   ▲