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. :)~
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
It turns out I was wrong. I have, after all, been living in Cairo for four years. Yet at the time, if you would have told me this could or would happen, I would have responded that I also believe in the tooth fairy. I had just been accepted to Harvard, would spend the next two years of my life there, and would then go on to get a job and make babies. I couldn’t imagine interrupting the very natural flow of things to fit Egypt in. Nor could I imagine the logistics of undertaking such an endeavor. How would I get there? Where would I stay? Who would hire me to work so that I could pay my rent and fund all my dance classes? Too much uncertainty, too much impossibility, no money.