Hello, I'm Luna, and I'd like to welcome you to "Kisses from Kairo,"* my blog about living and working as an American belly dancer in Cairo.
Life in Cairo isn't easy for dancers, foreigners, women, or even Egyptians. It is, however, always exciting. That’s why after living here for seven years, I've decided to share my experiences with the world. From being contracted at the Semiramis Hotel to almost being deported, not a day has gone by without something odd or magical happening. I will therefore fill these pages with bits of my history in Cairo—my experiences, successes, mistakes, and observations. Admittedly, my time here has been rather unique, so I want to stress that while everything I write is true, my experiences do not necessarily reflect the lives of other dancers.
In addition to my life as a belly dancer, I will write about developments in costuming, performances, festivals, and, of course, the dance itself. I will also make frequent references to Egyptian culture. I should note that I have a love/hate relationship with Egypt. If I make any criticisms about the country, please keep in mind that I do so with the utmost love, respect, and most of all, honesty. Egypt has become my home, so I want to avoid romanticizing and apologizing for social maladies, as most foreigners tend to do. Nothing could be more misguided, patronizing, or insulting.
I hope you find this blog informative, insightful and entertaining, and that we can make this as interactive as possible. That means I'd love to hear from you. Send me your comments, questions, complaints, suggestions, pics, doctoral dissertations, money, etc., and I will get back to you. Promise. :)~
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The circumstances of my being contracted and de-contracted at the Semiramis were rather odd. One typical Cairo evening, I found myself sitting in the Semiramis’ disco with a dancer friend and the two managers of the nightclub where Egypt's most famous dancer performs every week. Embarrassingly enough, it took me a whole hour to realize that the man sitting across from me conversing with me was THE big shot manager who hires talent at the Semiramis Hotel. In my defense, I wasn’t told who this man was. I was simply asked by my dancer friend to accompany her to a party with some artists at the Semiramis disco, and “by the way I’m auditioning here tomorrow.”
Huh, ok. We’re going to a party with artists and she was scheduled to audition at the Semiramis tomorrow. Fair enough. As the night when on and the conversation got deeper, however, I realized that the man sitting across from me was, in fact, THE manager of the Semiramis nightclub. Figured. That’s why he knew so much about that famous dancer!