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. :)~



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Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Ugly & The Inevitable

I'm currently in the US, but by the way I'm conducting my life, you'd never know it. If I'm not teaching or performing Egyptian dance, I'm glomming up Egyptian news. Or I'm on the phone with Egypt. I left my life in Cairo a little over a month ago, thinking that as usual, I'd spend Ramadan in the US, and go back to Egypt for the Eid holidays. But that's not how things played out. You see, I would have gone back 10 days ago, except that my parents were making my life miserable over that hoax of a terror alert for Americans in the Middle East. For the first time in a long while, I listened to them. Their constant insults and screaming at me for wanting to go to Egypt during such times was more than I could handle. So I dragged my butt to JFK Airport and told Al-Italia that I wanted to postpone my flight another two weeks.

Well, the two weeks aren't even finished, and I'm about to delay my return once again. As you all know, the situation in Egypt right now is a little bit, err, "uncomfortable." Not to mention there's no work. My presence there would neither contribute to Egypt nor to my wellbeing, so I see no reason to go back at this point. I mean, I guess I could go and just sit in my apartment all day and night, listening to gunfire. Or watch the news 24 hours a day. Or tell Facebook how brave I am for living in Egypt through these turbulent times, even though I really don't have to. I don't know. It just doesn't sound like the brightest idea to me. And it's not like I have something to prove. So I've decided to hang out in the good old US of A until things subside, or if they don't, until I feel it's safe enough for me to go back, collect my belongings, and say my goodbyes.


I really hope it doesn't come to that. Not just because I would like to continue my dance career there, but because of the horrible situation the Egyptian people are in. I've always believed that in a way, people get what they deserve (collectively speaking), but I think Egyptians are getting a little more than their fair share. Not only have millions lost their livelihoods since the 2011 revolution, but they are now being terrorized by a fanatic horde of primates who are attacking everything from churches to police stations to cars, residential buildings, and businesses. It's as though Egypt has really bad karma or something. Really, really bad karma.

In the meantime, I can't sleep, I've lost my appetite, and I look like a zombie. My nerves are shot from worrying about friends and loved ones in Egypt, and I don't like the fact that my life is in limbo. I have no idea what direction my life will be taking in the near future, and I find that very unsettling. I'm doing a pretty good job of hiding it though. Teaching has been a temporary distraction. But once class is over, I'm back in my head again, or on the internet wanting to know how many more people died, how many more churches were burned, how many more cop(t)s were killed. How long before I can justify going back to Cairo.

I also need to congratulate myself. I think I've finally joined the ranks of the America haters I've always secretly despised. Yes, I'm sorry to say this, and I may even regret it in the future (or perhaps even change my mind), but I hate my country right now. I hate how we're lecturing Egyptians about human rights. As if we know what those are. I hate that we're wagging our finger at their military and its supporters as they fight for freedom, while we send our boys 'n gals to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam to fight for ours. I hate that our government says nothing about the crimes against humanity, history and civilization that the Muslim Slaughterhood is committing. I hate how we're threatening to cut Egypt's "salary" if it doesn't stop killing "peaceful protesters." I hate how Americans who can't even point to Egypt on a map smugly pontificate about the "coup" and the abortion of "democracy." As if we have that in this country. I hate how we hate America when she invades Afghanistan and Iraq, but love her when she invades Libya. As if there's a difference. I hate all the party politics-- how we apologize for the same policy blunders for which we'd hang a Republican. And I hate how our media is more adept at covering Anthony Weiner's weiner than it is at covering a conflict with global ramifications.

:)

But wait. Maybe I'm being too negative. Maybe there are some positives-- perhaps even some things I love. For example, I love that Egypt is FINALLY flipping its finger at the US and it's "aid." I love that Russia is doing the same. I love that Putin and the Gulf States are vowing to more than compensate for whatever Washington cuts off. I love that millions of Egyptians have now seen the Brotherhood for what it truly is -- a terrorist organization. And I love that they are telling the world to mind its own business while they kindly mind theirs. Who knows, maybe there's reason for hope after all.

I don't pretend to know what the outcome of this conflict will be, or when it's going to end. There are enough "authorities" on the internet without me pretending to be one. I don't see the future, and I don't have any answers. The only thing I can say with any certainty, is that what's happening in Egypt (and the entire Middle East for that matter) is unfortunate and inevitable. It is yet another manifestation of the ideological war between radical Islam, in this case represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, and secularism, represented by the Egyptian military and the people (there's some overlap in these categories, but for the most part, they're pretty accurate.) This is a larger battle for the "soul" of Islam, if you will, something very similar to what Christianity went through 500 years ago (I hate that comparison, but I'm using it for lack of a better one). As such, it is an internal matter, and one in which countries with super-power complexes should stay out of.

It is also a conflict in which the Egyptian military and its supporters have the moral high ground. I know there's a strand of anti-establishmentism that runs deep in the US (especially among the far left), which makes us skeptical of authority (even if only when the guy we didn't vote for wins the election). But that doesn't translate to Egypt. Right now, the military establishment is acting not only in the interest of itself, but in the interest of the people, its neighbors, its history and its future. It is, quite frankly, the world's only hope for dealing radical Islam a blow. While the US and EU are bent on making enemies with the new Egyptian government, the Egyptian police are cleansing the streets of the fatal cancer of Islamism. While the US is still mourning Morsi, the Egyptian military is arresting and killing hundreds of Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda terrorists in Sinai. And they are doing this despite the fact that they are being slaughtered in the process. Remember, the generals were nice enough to let these primates protest Morsi's removal for the entire month of Ramadan. They put up with that shit for an entire month, and not just any month(!), even though they would have preferred doing holiday things to being shot at. Even though the "protests" brought the economy to a complete hault, became cess pools of rape and murder, and disrupted nearly everyone's lives.

Enough is enough. Morsi's NOT coming back, and the people have a right to get on with their lives. This is why the military dispered the protests. So that it could be business as usual again. So that an impoverished population could go back to work, and rebuild their country, which is in shambles. That's why they had to "disperse" the protests and basically tell everyone to go home. They even offered them safe exit, and escorted quite a number of people out of the protest camps peacefully. Unfortunately, some of the "peaceful protesters" chose to shoot at the police instead of following orders. And what do you think happened next? The police shot right back at them! And we're upset about this, why? Tell me, in what part of the world will you not get killed after shooting at law enforcement!?! Definitely not in America!

I'm sick of the world's misplaced concern for terrorists' rights. I'm sick of the military-bashing by psuedo "intellectuals" who are too naive to realize that Islamism will create a world devoid of their cherished human rights... a world in which women will be cattle, homosexuals killed, minorities decimated, "criminals" brutally punished, and reason obliterated. Nations modeled along the lines of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Given the choice between THAT, or, letting the Egyptian military kill a few terrorists to prevent THAT, we should unequivocally be choosing the latter.  It's a nobrainer. 

7 comments:

  1. In my circle I have never heard anyone support Morsi or the Brotherhood so it is not "America" saying this - also, The Economist -albeit a British publication- has been anti brotherhood publicly. I don't know what this president does to help any thing in the long term but he probably will continue supporting "all religions" even if they are fundamentalist terrorists. He likes thing easy- wont interrupt his bank account mounting or his golf game, like most US leaders. Only interested in photo ops and their growing, private wealth. So frightening. I hope you can find some peace during these hard times. Keep going strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane I totally agree. Unfortunately, there's too much at stake for Obama to be taking this approach. I just can't wait until this is all over. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
    2. Jane I totally agree. Unfortunately, there's too much at stake for Obama to be taking this approach. I just can't wait until this is all over. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
    3. Hi Luna, this was very nice article from you to read, and I appreciate your decision to stay in U.S. until the things get better in a hot Egyptian area.
      Hope you will not reach some other "Zombie" state of body and mind, and you will keep yourself in a good - physical and mental - condition!
      Greetings from Europe, Alex.

      Delete
  2. Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Property in Egypt

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Luna, this was very nice article from you to read, and I appreciate your decision to stay in U.S. until the things get better in a hot Egyptian area.
    Hope you will not reach some other "Zombie" state of body and mind, and you will keep yourself in a good - physical and mental - condition!
    Greetings from Europe, Alex.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Luna, this was very nice article from you to read, and I appreciate your decision to stay in U.S. until the things get better in a hot Egyptian area.
    Hope you will not reach some other "Zombie" state of body and mind, and you will keep yourself in a good - physical and mental - condition!
    Greetings from Europe, Alex.

    ReplyDelete