by Luna

by Luna



Blog Intro

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. :)~

My Videos

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The "P" Word

No, it’s not what you think.  It’s another word that starts with the letter P—one that has been pestering me for quite some time now.  The word is “prestige,” or bresteej¸ as the Egyptians say.  :)  It means the same in Egyptian Arabic as it does in English, except Egyptians also apply this concept to belly dancing.  I’ll show you what I mean. 

A few days ago, I got a call to perform at a restaurant after my shows on the Nile Memphis.  I would dance to CD, change my costume 3 times, and collect plenty of tips.  I told the agent I would do it, and arranged for a friend in the business to accompany me.  Upon arriving at the restaurant, however, we discovered that there was no dance floor.  In fact, the entire restaurant was no bigger than my kitchen, and there was absolutely no room to dance.  At most, I could prance around the tables and bop to the music.  To make matters worse, the majority of the customers were drunken men.

When he saw this, my friend went on an angry tirade about how jobs like this are not “prestigious,” and how I’m setting myself up for failure.  He went on and on until I snapped and threw a temper tantrum in the street.  Mind you, I was supposed to be “on stage” in 5 minutes. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011


...yes, it says what you think it does  :) 

That Little Blue “Piece of Paper”
Here’s some heartfelt advice from your resident foreign belly dancer—NEVER carry condoms on you or anywhere near you while traveling in Egypt.  Same goes for tampons.  Most people don’t know what they are, and when their curiosity gets the better of them, things get awkward.  To say the least.  

It just so happened that while I was coming back to Cairo from a show in the Red Sea area last year, the security check-point officers decided they would stop our car and search our bags—me, the DJ, the whirling dervish, and the driver.  The 3 guys stepped out to be frisked by the officers.  I, being the only woman, was instructed to stay in the car until the search was over.  I felt the car bouncing up and down as the officers opened the trunk and rummaged through our bags.  And then, one by one, the guys climbed back into the vehicle, each one with a look of horror on his face. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrate the 4th of July Nile-Style!

4th of July Nile-Style! If you're American & in Cairo, come celebate the 4th of July at the Nile Memphis! $25USD buys you dinner, a wonderful cruise along the Nile, and an exciting belly dance show by American belly dancer Luna! Invitation extended to non-Americans, anti-Americans, wana-be Americans, and eveyone else :D Boat sails at 7pm sharp! Space is limited! Email me at for boat location and to RSVP.