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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Being a foreign Belly Dancer in Egypt Interview with Luna of Cairoby Isis Zahara

photo by Tracey Gibbs

"We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle."--Marilyn Monroe 

Luna of Cairo is an American Belly Dancer originally from Brooklyn, New York (she studied in Harvard!) and has been living in Cairo for the past 3 years. She is contracted at the Nile Memphis in Cairo (Memphis Tours Nile Cruises) .

Luna will be at the next Salamat MasrEgyptian Festival (July 05th till  July 12th  2012) teaching with the well known Egyptian belly dancers stars as Mona El Said, Zizi Mostafa and Najwa Fouad.

She has a polemical  blog: Kisses from Kairo.  Where you can read experiences about being a  foreign belly dancer in Egypt, some cultural contrasts and - as she says - her mistakes, observations and successes!

IZ -    When and why did you decide to start a  dance carrier in Egypt?

LC - I actually never intended to start a dance career in Egypt. My goals were much more modest than that. I came here in 2008 on a scholarship to research the origins of belly dance and trace its development

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Big Yellow "M"

photoYes, I’m talking about that M.  McDonalds.  The place no self-respecting American traveling abroad would be caught dead in.  We Americans who travel abroad suffer from a sort of “McDonalds complex.”  We are painfully aware that the rest of the world stereotypes us as provincial, untraveled, uncultured cowboys who only speak one language and only eat fast food.  So to prove to the world (and ourselves) otherwise, one of the things we do is avoid eating at McDonalds.  Even when it might be in our best interest.   

I am one of those Americans who suffers from McDonalds complex.  Not just because eating at McDonalds would be an indication of close-mindedness, but because of all of the things the fast food chain has come to symbolize over the years.  Especially here in the Middle East.  As one of the largest corporations in the world, it is a symbol of American economic and cultural hegemony.  It’s thus no wonder that McDonalds restaurants have become a favored target of America-hating violence in the Arab world.