I started out writing this blog nearly 6 years ago. That was when I moved to Cairo for my 6 months stint (so much for that plan!). The idea of the blog initially was to keep all my friends, family and students informed of all that was going on but also became a record so that I wouldn’t forget all the things I was experiencing here in my new life. I have a dreadful memory. I was frightened it would all vanish if I didn’t write it down. I guess what has happened though that as life here becomes more ‘normal’ to me that I seem to write less of it down. Cairo really is my home now.
That and of course the advent of Facebook in my life, and more recently, Twitter. The one line status updates and tweets which I now record there, once would have been my starting lines for a long blog entry. I love facebook and twitter, since they allow me to be involved in other people’s lives and help make the distance between friends disappear, however I also miss the twists and turns my brain used to take when writing my blog entries! I am resolved to try to write more blog entries. You have been warned!
I have been back from UK for about 10 days now, after a months’ holiday and workshop tour there. The weather has improved in Cairo and the tourist situation seems to have improved too. Once again I am seeing people from all over the world in my audiences on the Nile Pharaoh boat. This morning, a group from Germany. Last night a big school trip from Sudan. Last week a boat full of Brits. I never realised how relieved I would feel to see so many ‘foreign’ faces in town!
It has been a very difficult year in many ways. Living in a country as it goes through a revolution.
Even now, although the streets are peaceful, there is still unease about the city. Everyone is scared about the upcoming presidential elections. There is a fear that the army may succeed in getting in ‘one of their boys’ to replace Mubarak and then things would be just as they were, or worse than before. The other big fear is that the Muslim Brotherhood will get their man in and that things would become more and more fundamentalist. That may potentially mean more restrictions on people and their day to day lives. This is the big fear for us dancers and all who work in the entertainment and tourism industry. I cannot predict what will happen.
People joke about it on a daily basis. “What’s your plan B when dancing is banned in Egypt?” my answer is “I can’t hear you....lalalalalalalala “(obviously just in my head!)
Truth is I really don’t know what I would do. I can’t imagine Cairo without Belly dance. I can’t imagine my life anywhere else than here. I hate to think about it and I am, like all the other thousands of people in this industry, just hoping and praying it won’t go that way.
If you are thinking to come to Cairo for dance purposes, Come now. Just in case.
Let’s hope we all look back at these scary uncertain days and laugh about how stupid we were to think that Egypt could ever be without the music and dance that we love so much!
See you here soon!