Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Messika, Ḥabiba
(537 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…

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Yosef Tobi, “Messika, Ḥabiba”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0015200>
First published online: 2010

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