This page is dedicated to one of the stranger aspects of Dana International's fame. Long before anyone had heard of her in Europe, she was immensely famous in Israel's Arab neighbouring countries because of her songs in Arabic - especially Sa'ida Sultana and Danna International. These songs were immensely popular among youth in Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf, and sold in huge numbers. However, as most copies were pirate copies, Dana hardly earned anything from the sales at all. What she did earn was fame - and the fairly dubious blessing of being the focus of an Egyptian conspiracy theory.
The following is my translation of a book published in Egypt in 1995. I find it a good example of the conspiracy theories that are rampant in most Arab countries. For a general view on conspiracy theories in the Arab world and Iran, I refer to Daniel Pipes: The Hidden Hand - Middle East fears of conspiracy -New York: St. Martin's Press 1996- (ISBN 0-312-16254-5). (Click the picture to order the book from amazon.com!) I found the book a tad pro-Israeli, but very well researched. He, however, does not mention the Dana conspiracy - and I feel it should be made available too. Not the least to her fans. This book (incredible as it may seem) was my only source of factual info on Dana until I lived in Hebron on the West Bank for most of 1997.
Now, I want to point out that making this dubious publication available on the net does NOT mean I condone the author's views. Nor do I suffer from bouts of bad conscience for distributing it over the net in blatant disregard of any copyright the he might claim. This because I feel this book's pretext of being a warning to the masses is a just a nice excuse for distribution of (censored) tits and (uncensored) titillation - and earning money from it. This book - and many similar ones - can to a certain extent be considered Egypt's substitute for gossip magazines and light pornography. They cost around five times the price of a normal novel printed in Egypt (heavily subsidized by the state) - and this despite the bad quality of the printing and binding. The language is also so-so at times, not the least because of the somewhat akward use of alif madda for alif hamza.
The book is 19 chapters long, but only the first eight actually concern Dana International. So far, I have translated five chapters to English - and the first six are available in Arabic. The translation to English contains my comments to put things in context. For further comments, I recommend Ted Swedenburg's article on Dana's impact on Egypt - you'll find the details on the media page.
As usual on this site, the files are available in PDF-format in order to be able to use transcription and non-latin scripts. Accordingly you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the files - if the program is not already installed on your computer, you can download it absolutely free from the link to the left.
My ambition is to finish the translation of the first eight chapters with comments eventually, but this is not something I give priority. With time however, who knows? In the meantime, here are the files available so far: