Hafez was born in the Muharram Bey neighborhood in Alexandria, and studied at the Franciscan School, then she traveled to France when she was 15 and obtained a college degree from the Conservatory of Music in 1930.
Hafez grew up in a musical family. Her father, Ismail Hafez Pasha, was a composer and songwriter, and he played a number of musical instruments, including the oud, the law, and the piano.
As for her mother, she was playing the violin, while her siblings were playing various musical instruments, while Bahija was perfect at playing the piano.
Despite her passion for music, Joyful Hafiz married a man who does not like music, and that may have played a role behind her divorce from him, after which she left Alexandria to Cairo and settled in it to start a new chapter in her personal and artistic life.
Her photo, which was published on the cover of “Al-Mustaqbal” magazine and written “The First Egyptian Music Composer”, had a great role in her fame, as she was chosen to play the title role in the movie “Zainab” in 1930, which put her on the first track of acting.
Bahija Hafiz not only starred in the movie, but also wrote Soundtrack His 12 tracks, and later set up a film production company that directed several films.
In 1937 Hafez established the first trade union for musicians, and this union remained in place until 1954, and it also established a cultural salon in 1959 inside its palace in Qasr al-Nil Street, which had a prominent cultural and artistic activity.
At the end of her life, Hafez remained in bed for many years, and the neighbors discovered her death two days after her death on December 13, 1983, and her last resting place was spread without attending her funeral.