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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Case for Cairo

Why you should come to Cairo… Now.

Anyone who knows me knows that I complain about Cairo a lot.  That’s because I’m way past the infatuation phase in my relationship with this city.  I’ve said and continue to say that it’s dirty, crowded, chaotic, draining, dysfunctional and frustrating. But one thing I’ve never said about Cairo is that it’s dangerous. If it were dangerous, I wouldn’t live here. Plain and simple. Neither would thousands of other foreigners who live and work here alongside me.  Ok, ok, the first week of the uprising was pretty scary.  I’ll give you that.  But things calmed down dramatically soon after.  Sure, there’s no government, and there still aren’t as many police on the streets as there used to be, but I could think of much more dangerous places with governments and plenty of police.

Despite what you hear on the media, Cairo is safe.  The problem with the media is that it has a tendency to broadcast events from Tahrir Square and forget about the rest of the country.  This results in a very skewed version of reality. Uh, Newsflash! Tahrir is NOT Egypt.  It is a tiny sliver of Cairo that serves as a rallying point for political agitators.  Generally, what happens in Tahrir stays in Tahrir and doesn’t affect the country at large.  In fact, half of the time, Egyptians don’t even know what’s going on there!