Born in the Egyptian town of Ismaïlia to Mohamed Ali and Fatma Elzharaa. Her father was a boat merchant who had married 6 times. It is said that Badawiya’s father was around 60 years old during the time her mother was in her early twenties. Badawiya was barely able to speak when her father died. After the death of her father, Badaweya was sent to live with her older half-brother Ahmed Ali Elnedany. While there she was tortured, treated like a slave and locked in chains. Every time she tried to escape he would find her and torture her even more, till one day he shaved her hair.
With the help of her nephew Osman Elnedany, she escaped to Cairo to stay with Souad Mahasen, a night club owner and an artist. Tahiya had asked several times for employment in Suad’s nightclub but Suad refused to employ her due to the disreputability of working at a nightclub. However, many of Suad’s associates and friends became acquainted with Tahiya through various visits to Suad’s home. They all advised Suad to add her to one of the shows as a chorus girl but still she refused. Soon, Tahiya was mentioned to Badia Masabni, the owner of Casino Opera, one of the most prominent nightclubs of the time. Badia offered a position in her troupe to Tahiya. Tahiya accepted and was given the stage name Tahiya Mohamed. She soon began gaining popularity as a solo dancer and as she became more experienced she learned a popular Samba dance from Brazil at the time called the Carioca. After that she became known as Tahiya Carioca. Tahiya began starring in movies during what is dubbed as the Egyptian film industry’s “Golden Age”. She was a talented dancer, singer, and actress. In 1972, the film “Watch out for Zouzou”, starring Soad Hosni with Tahiya performing the supporting role, was released to become the biggest box-office hit in Egyptian cinema to date.