Sunday, October 28, 2007


well- I have been busy this week.... working a fair bit, and entertaining my visitors (Sarannah, Irene and Margaret- aka 'the daughters of Isis') which has for the most part been a lot of fun- except that i also managed to get a horrible cold ad had to cancel work one night cos my sinuses were so bad... grrr. Anyway- on the mend now, and overdosing on the vitamins- so hopefully that will help keep anymore problems at bay!

Just before the girls arrived i had a fun night too. I was performing and a group of film makers from Belguim came to the boat to film me. They were a lot of fun and are making a travel program which focuses on dance so after they shot me on the boat we went (and met up with quite a few others) to the Marriot nightclub to film Rhanda. I love her to bits- as all my blog readers will know already- but to see her dance with a dance crowd- AND when she knows she is being filmed- WOW she was on form!!!!!!!

Oh and one of my best nights to perform yet was that same night- one whole deck was a private party for psychiatrists from all over the world, they were here on some sort of convention. What a fun bunch of people and an amazing audience!!!!!!!!

Oh- and I have to stop taking people to costume shops.......... every time I do- i end up buying a cosutme, or 2 for myself!!!!!!!!! 3 more Eman Zaki costumes are currently being made for me- oops......... guess I'll have to get some serious work in pretty damn quick to cover the cost of them!!!!!!!!!!

mum and dad arrive tonight- will be very interesting to see what they make of Cairo- its their 1st time!

Monday, October 22, 2007

2nd Cairo workshop!

well- the workshop I did here in Cairo before Ramadan went so well- that I am doing it again........ so if you want to dance- and happen to be in Cairo this weekend..... this blog entry is for you!

Starting with basic beginners level and working up from there...something for everyone! I aim to make hese workshops will be informative, fairly energetic and fun. Open to all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. Ladies only.

The studio is lovely with natural light and mirrors and views over Maadi. Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended.1st workshop

Date: Saturday 27th Oct 07
Time: 1-4pm
Cost: 150le if booked in advance. 200le on the door.
Venue: Studio in the Sky, top floor, building 5, road 215, Maadi.

to book contact Anna Louise or Shams on or 010 150 0902 or check out their new website

please bring a scarf to tie round your hips. We dance barefoot. oh- and remember to bring your sense of humour with you!!!!! see you there!

Back into things….

Well- it took a while…. After the 1st day when my nerves were shaken somewhat I have to admit, and I wondered why the heck I was out here putting myself through all this. Then I worked the Thursday night and felt so disappointed with my performance (despite the management being happy and getting good reports about it) that I ended up crying in the changing room. Was really considering packing it all in and heading home to Scotland. But, I guess though, if I wasn't so upset when I feel I dance less well than usual that I wouldn't be always trying to improve myself and I would have been content working in the DSS, dancing as a part time hobby rather than ending up here in Cairo as a bellydancer on the Nile! So, although I maybe make my life difficult with it…. Perfectionist is the only way to go for now!!!

Thankfully I even managed to impress the hardest critic, myself, on Friday night. Why? Who knows… but I felt good, actually, I felt amazing, the musicians were tight and strong behind me and the audience was open, welcoming and receptive. Even ignored the rules a little and ended up a whole number just dancing one to one with a girl with learning difficulties- me, her and her Barbie doll. Not really sure what the general audience made of it- but she had a whole lot of fun- and therefore so did I!!! One old Egyptian guy, sitting on his own sat and watched me intensely the whole set downstairs- but didn't smile or anything… so I wasn't sure what to make of it all- but then he followed me upstairs and sat outside on the 'sun' deck watching me repeat my set there- so I guess he must have thought I was worth watching. Families running after me at the end show to get a photo of me with their kids/husbands etc etc…….. can't be a bad sign either I guess…..

The hard bit I find- is the very 1st song……….. I spin on with my veil…. Smiling at all … and seeing and hearing all the disappointed looks from the Egyptians in the audience when they tell others on their table 'no, she's not Egyptian'. I can sense their disappointment before I even start, and know they are instantly lowering the bar- not expecting too much. So, when I get them to the point where they are totally with me, calling me 'adorable' etc it really makes me feel like I have surprised them and cracked it. Wish I could find the recipe to repeat that vibe every night, but with so many variables- the band, the audience, my mood, the stage etc, it is near impossible- and I really don’t want to go down the line of choreography- so 'winging it each night' and loving it a lot more than hating it that’s for sure!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Amazing end to Scottish tour....

... they say the best way to appreciate your own country is to leave it. well- it's true!

On my last night in Edinburgh before coming back to Cairo, 3 wonderful things happened.

I went to the nature reserve at Aberlady, to watch the sunset, not knowing til I got there that lots of twitchers were there too- to see, and photograph the annual migration of geese! It was amazing to see V after V, thousands upon thousands of geese fly in to nest, at Sunset, after feeding all day- some flying in from as far as Iceland. Seemingly, they are only there for about a month each year- so to unexpectantly catch this amazing sight made me feel overwhelmed! It was cold, very, and i got a crookin my neck... but the sight of those squadrons of brids (far more than in any hitchcock film!) coming into the sunset above me will always stay in my mind.

Then I walked down to potobello beach - to say fairwell to the sea before my flight home (to Cairo that is!!!) and the sea was much further out than normal so there was huge expanses of sand in front of me and no clouds at all and the stars were soooo bright and so numerous again that my neck was in that same position for quite some time. I really don't remember them ever looking that amazing.

Then, for no apparent reason, or intended audience, 2 men on the beach started to lit firework after firework- a lovely show which went on for over half an hour..............

So , in all an amazing night, celebrating the wonders of Scotlands nature- the clean air, the birds, the sunsets, the stars, the beach and then fireworks to round it all off. All things which if I had been living my normal life in Scotland and not doing 'something special' to end my month there, I would have missed out on totally!!!! Wish I had photos of it all to show you!!!

So.................... This , along with the 1st hours of my arrival in Cairo, make up for and help console me, somewhat, for the horrors of the 1st day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st day in Cairo..........

.............. not so good.

in fact- it had me walking along the street sobbing loudly by the end of it!

Whilst visiting a friend today, her bowab's son (caretaker) switched off the lift while I was in it. then came to my 'aid', he opened the door with his key- and eventually moved out the way when i refused to jump into his arms. then he touched my arm and I gave him a row and told him not to..... but all this was just an excuse to then touch my chest. I shouted and hit him and he ran away scared- but I was still shaking for a good while after it. suspect he'll be losing his job for that. I was shaken, but in control.

THEN.................... walking home this evening, 9pm, on hugely busy gamet d'owel street, a man on a bycycle just reached out one hand and grabbed one breast as i was trying to cross the road!!! I shouted after him and burst into tears then and there in a very busy part of the street. Everyone around must have seen what had happened, and certainly heard me shout and saw me cry- but NO-ONE did anything.................. I was gutted. I have never felt so repulsed and scared anywhere before. In all these years I have spent so much time in Cairo, and although the name calling can wear a girl down, and I have had the occasional bump pinch etc... to be groaped twice, in the same day- it has floored me. I really always believed if you were obviously wronged in the street like that, there were far more good people around who would help you, than bad, or frightened people who would pretend it hadn;t happened. That has blown my confidence in the 'egyptian hospitality' completely out the water.

was going to go out tonight with friends, but going to bed early now instead.................... can't face it.

God grant me the strength to pull the next one off his bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st hours back in Cairo.....

............. were amazing!

It was an electrical storm- numerous, massive lightening streaks accross the desert sky (thanksfully starting just seconds after I got through passport control - ie not while plane was trying to land!)

really - what a beautiful sight. Rain to die for (ok , in scotland I complain about the rain all the time, but here in Cairo it is a blessing- washing all the pollution down from the sky so the air feels freshish for the 1st time ever!) But this is hard rain falling in warm temperatures!- It was still only 19 degrees during all this!

The only times I have seen lightening like last nights was in films- where I thought they had been exaggerated. But this was gorgeous.

The thunder wasn;t so clever though. a deep 'BANG' rather than rumble........... that woke me from my sleep probably about 3 times! I thought it was an earthquake!!!

so that was a welcome and a half back to Cairo- and of course I have been accused of bringing the weather from Scotland with me- but I have never seen weather like this! They closed almost all the bridges (cos the roads are too slippery when wet seemingly - nice bon jovi quote there!) and everyone was driving at 3 miles per hour since they knew their breaks/tyles wouldn't stand the wet! My taxi driver said he thought it was more than 8 years since they last had lightening in Egypt...... and to get rain in Oct is very strange too.................. whats happening in the world???? I have to say- it did feel a bit like armageddan!!!!

One friend suggested maybe I had organised the whole thing as some sort of publicity stunt- 'Lorna, from Scotland, returns to Cairo with a bang and a flash' sort of thing. Well, all I can say is that I wish i knew about it in advance so I could have marketed it better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!