by Luna

by Luna

Luna

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

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Song Translation Service!

Take your dancing to the next level with my new Arabic song translation service! 
Upon popular suggestion, I’ve finally decided to offer a song translation service. :)  Now you can have ANY Arabic song translated & transliterated into fluent, native English for just $20.00.  I provide accurate, precise translations, phonetic transliterations, and explain all idioms, terms, and cultural references that aren’t immediately intelligible to non-Arabic speakers. No more limited, awkward, online translations by translators who are limited in either English or Arabic.
Understanding the meaning of the words to which you’re dancing will significantly improve the way you feel the music. Your audiences will be impressed.  Song translation is also a great way to gain further insight into Middle Eastern cultures.
Just for the record: I have 5 years of formal Arabic study under my belt: 2 years at Harvard University, 2 years at Columbia University and the City University of New York, 1 year in Syria and Yemen, and a decade of surviving in Egypt. 

Click here and here to read testimonials from satisfied customers. :)


Payment via Pay Pal.  To begin translating, contact me at lunaofcairo@gmail.com.  Looking forward to hearing from you!


Here's a sample translation for you:


Si Abdo***
Mr. Abdo
*** “Si” is the local ‘baladi’ equivalent of mister.

Si Abdo!
Mr. Abdo!
Wa Oyoon Si Abdo
And Mr. Abdo’s eyes

Hosh an ayoonak Si Abdo, ah ya Si Abdo
Stop looking at me Mr. Abdo, oh Mr. Abdo
Da al hob garee wa ana mish adoo ah ya Si Abdo
Love is too strong for me, and I’m not up to it
(They both like each other, but the girl is afraid to start a relationship because of the complications that may arise.)

Si Abdo
Mr. Abdo
Si Abdo
Mr. Abdo
Si Abdo
Mr. Abdo
Si Abdo
Mr. Abdo

Aaloo il hawa luhu dawa
They said that love has a cure
Raga aloolee…
They came back to me and said…
GIRL: Ma Azunish!
I don’t think so!

Aloolee tamin, gaylee il-nawa fo il-nakhel, oolt
They told me, ‘wait, there’s a cure,’ that I can have an entire palm tree with dates cure me of love, but I said
(This doesn’t really make sense in English.  What it means is that finding a cure for love is like trying to tear down an entire palm tree with dates, or, a better example, trying to capture a star and bring it down to earth. Very difficult).
GIRL: Ma Azunish
I don’t think so!

Il-inkawa min il-hawa, yenam il leil
Whoever is in love, sleeps very well at night
GIRL: Ma Azunish!
I don’t think so!

Ana hadrab, wa hafashfish, wa hakasr, wa hadashdish
I’ll hit and crush and break things [to get rid of his love]
GIRL : Le le le, ma azunish!
No no no!  I don’t think so!

Il-wad zagh minee wa fak,
My lover ran away from me
Wa ana zanoo fi khant il-yak
But I was able to break her check mate (reference to a move in Backgammon similar to the check mate in chess.) 
Now the song starts using the metaphor of a Backgammon game to describe what’s happening in the game of love. This was really difficult to translate, as it’s extremely local, and normal Egyptians don’t speak like this.  It also makes very little sense if you have no clue about Backgammon. :D  I did my best not to translate literally.

Il-wad zagh minee wa fak,
My lover ran away from me
Wa ana maskoo fi khant il-yak
But I was able to break her check mate
Aal eh il haz idaloo
He said he got lucky
The song starts out with the singer speaking in the first person.  Then he shifts to singing in the third person.  It’s really typical of Arabic poetry, from the Quran to modern day shaabi music, for the author to shift between persons.  This is done for two reasons.  One, the rhyme scheme may call for it, and two, it’s more respectful for a man to address or speak about his lover in the masculine. 

Fakar yamil doyak
And he wants to try his luck (literally throw the dice and hope for the outcome he wants)
Il-wad zagh minee wa fak,
My lover ran away from me
Wa ana zanoo fi khant il-yak
But I was able to break her check mate

Harifa
Professional
Harifa
Professional
Ihna il-nas il-harifa
We’re the professionals (at backgammon, but really the game of love)

Il-do, Il-see
One, two (on the dice)
Il-do wa il-see w ail-gohar
One, two, and four (on the dice)
Asla ihna il-nas il-shutar
We’re professionals too
Fil-do wa il-see w ail-gohar
One, two, and four

Ihna il-nas il-shutar
We’re professionals too
Harifa
Professional
Harifa
Professional
Ihna il-ayal il-harifa
We’re the professionals

Awazilna ya-ayni fi heera
All those who are jealous of our love are confused  
Sabaha il-ashra bi-tareefa
And they’re a dime a dozen

Fatafeet il-sukar fatafeet
Sugar crystals, sugar crystals
Al-halu ya-halu itrabayt
I grew up on sweet things (he means good values)
Fatafeet il-sukar fatafeet
Sugar crystals, sugar crystals
Al-halu ya-halu itrabayt
I grew up on sweet things

Fatafeet il-sukar tagibni
I like sugar crystals
Wa inta ya-halu mudawibni
And you, my sweet, make me melt
Dawibni fi-hobik dawibni
Your love makes me melt
Wa fi albi rah abnilik bayt
And with the love in my heart I will build you a house


Hagir, Asee, Yehib wa yamil nasi
He leaves, he doesn’t ask about me, he loves and then forgets
Hagir, Asee, Yehib wa yamil nasi
He leaves, he doesn’t ask about me, he loves and then forgets

Ah minak ya muftari tabia fi albi tashtari
You’re treating me badly and playing with my emotions
Ah minak ya muftari tabia fi albi tashtari
You’re treating me badly and playing with my emotions

Ashtikeek li ahl il-hawa
I’ll complain to all the lovers
Aool da wayeh il dawa
I’ll say that you have the cure (for love)

Ashtikeek li ahl il-hawa
I’ll complain to all the lovers
Aool da wayeh il dawa
I’ll say that you have the cure (for love)
Yabia fi albi tashtari
You’re playing with my heart and emotions.


Yallah ya amar
Let’s go, beautiful
Rawah ya amar
Go home beautiful
Yallah ya amar
Let’s go, beautiful
Rawah ya amar
Go home beautiful


Ya Amar!.....

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