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, November 14, 2018

Dance or Die


The following is an excerpt from Fire In The Belly, a memoir by Zaina Brown. I've known Zaina for more than ten years now. We go back to Yosry Sharif in NYC. :) She amazed me then and she amazes now. Her dancing, her integrity, her adventurous spirit, and now, this brain child of hers about her travels as a foreign dancer across the Middle East and Africa. Simply put, you NEED to buy her book. It'll give you a good hard look into what it means to be a dancer in the Arab world.

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“I will put you in the program for April. But, you will need a tan, a small injection of silicon in your lips, and you should gain four kilograms. Then you will have just the right look for a bellydancer!” Salim exclaimed from the driver’s seat.

“Okay, Salim. Just for you, I’ll get a spray tan. But I don’t think I should gain four kilos!” I didn’t bother explaining that injecting silicon into the lips was a terrible idea. Hyaluronic acid, however, could be arranged. A temporary tint was no problem, either, but it would have to be a spray tan. I knew from experience that self-tanners from a bottle made your hands bright orange and your skin smell like rotisserie chicken. Going on a heavy diet to gain weight was a ludicrous gamble, though. Club-goers in Dubai were all too quick to call a bellydancer fat.