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, October 5, 2013

The Festival Farce

I’ve decided to lay off the politics for a while and get back to writing about dance.  Though admittedly, there's not much of a difference…

I’ve been wanting to write about Egyptian dance festivals for a while, but have refrained for fear of pissing people off.  Now, I no longer care.  I've realized that no matter what you do, people will be pissed, so you might as well give them a reason.  Like telling the truth.  Which is exactly what I will do in this post.  I want to talk about what really goes on in the world of dance festivals.   Not that we don’t all already know.  But after 5 years of witnessing this stuff, I feel like sharing it.  Because what I’ve discovered is that the policies, practices, and philosophies that go into creating festivals have nothing to do with art, and everything to do with greed.  And it’s high time someone called it out. 

The original idea of creating A dance festival in Egypt was brilliant.  It was intended to be an annual event in which the best of Egypt’s folklore and belly dancers would teach foreign dance enthusiasts.  Licensed foreigners performing in Egypt would also be featured.  The mission was to promote Egyptian dance.  The rationale was that since belly dance originated in Egypt, who better to teach it than Egyptians and foreigners licensed to dance in Egypt?