Monday, February 28, 2011

Cairo, the 1st March,


Alaa Al Aswany does it again!

He was already one of my favourite egyptian writers.

He wrote the wonderful and, for some time, infamous "Jacoubin Building" also turned into yet another amazing movie which shook Egypt s silent consciousness.

He also wrote "Chicago" and "Friendly Fire". The first book left me indifferent, "Friendly Fire" didn t.

Now, on the spot and at the right commercial and political moment, Alla strikes again with a brand new book that took me by storm today.

"On the state of Egypt" promises to be another eye opening for a lot of people, including me.

Leaving and working in Egypt, with egyptians and mostly for egyptians in the last 5 years has already been a crude reality check on many levels but there s so much information that passes us by or never reaches public discussion and opinion.

Ready not to be disappointed.

Alla was, in the middle of censorship, a brave voice speaking up the TRUTH when everybody else pretended all was ok in the "kingdom of Denmark". Thanks, dear Mr. Shakespeare!

Now, standing at the door of a FREE country full of hopes his voice can rise even higher than before.

Going to dig into this book immediatly. Then I ll let you all know about it!

Cairo, the 1st March, 2011

Glimpses of the city where I was born *Lisbon!
My world is full of contrasts and I would like to keep it that way forever. Only through contrasts we are able to appreciate the full potential of reality.

Out of out comfortable places and exposed to raw shocks of LIFE forms that challenge our own dogmas are we aware of the FASCINATING RICHNESS of Human Beings and the many worlds they live in.
From Lisbon, to Cairo.

From Cairo, to New York.

From New York, to India.

From India, to Senegal... and I could go on and on and never get tired of this perpetual movement because that is what LIFE is all about, anyways.


With the flow, with the differences, with the understandable facts life has to offer, celebrating the ruins and crying over the spilt milk of pleasures fully enjoyed.

Isn t it amazing, this LIFE we were offered with?

Cairo, the 1st March, 2011

Taking my first glimpses of a Post-Revolutionary Egypt

There has been only a day since I returned to Egypt but the change is palpable in everything that surrounds me.

Work is still blocked as there is still a 12.00 p.m. curfew time to follow, practically no tourists around and no egyptians in the mood for dance, governmental jobs are working on a 50%

rate basis and excitement is mixed with uncertainty. Sweet and sour, as in a good chinese food plate.

I also heard there are still demonstrations on the famous Tahrir Square but didn t have the chance to pass by it until now.

Patriotic messages everywhere and a new sense of pride that makes me smile. If this pride is followed by the humbleness and wise sense of KNOWING what to do next, then Egypt will surely be an amazing country to watch flourish in the next few year.

Which role will I have in all this fascinating -and scary, I must admit! - time, well...I still don t know but they don t call me warrior for nothing!

Cairo, the 1st March, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cairo, the 27th February,2011
Reading addiction, as usual...
No escape.
If life gets really messy, if the overload of work becomes too madening to bare, if troubles and pain need an evasion tool in order for the mind and the heart not to explode, if, if,if, IF and all kinds of IFs.
Reading is an omnipresent factor in my life, an addiction harder to erase than cocaine and cigarrettes and with secondary effects equally dangerous and much more corruptive of my "normal self".
At this strange, multi coloured return to Cairo I find myself reading material for my own book - a special book about the Moon - and other delicacies I cannot live without. Planning an abstinence of reading goodies to come very briefly.
I need to stop assimilating information for a while so that I can really concentrate on my own stuff. Easier said and done.
But, like all good old addicts, I will give it a shot. Not today yet. Tomorrow, or after...

El dia que me quieras - Carlos Gardel - Tango

Celebrating my return to Cairo and my tango lessons...
*Some kind of normality to make the shift from a Revoltion to a NEW KIND OF LIFE we all wish for Egypt and for those , like me, who live here and actually LOVE this country.

Curiously enough and although I didn t practice my tango at all during a full month, my skills seem to have improved. Some kind of internal growing happening and my emotional antenas more alive than ever, it seems.

What will happen when I return to my daily shows of Oriental Dance? How will this Revolution inffluence me and my way of expressing myself? I have no doubt it will.
It remains the pleasureable suspense to check HOW that change will show itself through my Art.

Then again, as usual, Art reflects LIFE and Life reflects ART.

Cairo, the 26th February, 2011

Blood shed for the sake of whom or what or whom?
The whole Middle East is crying out loud for a political renewal that would mean, hopefully, a NEW QUALITY of LIFE for their people. Fair enough.
First came Tunes, then Egypt with its incredible example of courage and perseverance and now Lybia and other countries around here staring to wake up to the possibility of taking power in their hands and build up a new life.
Why, I ask myself, these fair requests and demonstrations cannot be done without blood being shed? Aren t we all wishing and fighting for a GOOD, PEACEFUL, MORE PROSPEROUS life?
Of course many will call me an uthopia junkie, someone "not living in this world of ours". Well, yes. I praise myself for living in this world, without being from this world that has lost its HUMANITY and COMPASSION.
And yet I am not the only one. Mahatma Ghandi existed. He was real and, although he lost his life for being a brave, good, compassionate, strong and truly GOOD MAN, his pacific example and all he did in his life had an effect on India and all the world.
Why cannot be more Ghandis in this world???!!!
Why people have to destroy and kill so much before they can rise new cities and live in peace and prosperity?
Mahtma Ghandi once said an incredible truth.
"Eye by eye and the world will end up blind."
I guess it was a prophecy now becoming reality.

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011

The Love Parade/ Part II

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011
The Love Parade / Part I

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011
Just for laughs...
Cause laughing is still the best remedy to most sadnesses and pains.

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011
Human being s contradictions...
Terrifying and fascinating.
Laughing along the wind in the middle of an internal tempest.
After all, I am just a human being like any other regular fellow.

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011

If I was a powerful politician...

Here is what I would

demand, before anything else, from my citizens. This would be the main LAW in my country and the foundation of ALL the other laws.

Such a pity God gives nuts to the ones who have no teeth to crack them.

If only I could...

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011


As I walked along the particularly cleaned pavement on the 26th July street near from my home in Zamalek, I noticed a great deal of stickers spread over cars saying "Yes, we CAN!".

As I slowly start to land in Egypt and all its new realities, I notice there is a confusing message in all this OPTIMISTIC vibe of an apparently renewed country.

"Yes, we CAN". I agree.

People could throw a dignified, brave, victorious Revolution for the sake of all the fair things egyptians demand in all their right yet I can t help but wonder...Yes, you CAN.


What can you do right NOW to follow through with all the rights egyptian people have so strongly requested.

A Revolution seems to be, at my eyes, like an emotional gesture.

The BUILDING of a new country as Egypt deserved to be cannot be JUST an emotional gesture. It takes BRAIN, HARD WORK, ENERGY to innovate and take this country forward.

Ideas, if isolated by itself and their undeniable beauty, are not enough to make a CHANGE.

Action is required and I have faith that Egyptians will have that stamina to re-build this country and recognize its value for so long forgotten.

As for me, I am MORE than READY for work. NEWER, more inspired than ever.

This comes, in big part, because I have an huge faith in egyptian culture and I intend to do my job the best I can in order to bring out the best of this country s culture.

There should be a revival of the treasures contained in egyptian music, dance and Arts in general. A change in the educational system and in economical conditions so that people can be stimulated to create more and better for themselves, their families and country.

Did I mention how excited and happy I am for being back home...I think I did.

*You could all feel it by my words, any way.

Egypt! An old country with a brand NEW PRESENT...................................

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011

Something for the - new - road.
The greatest things in life are, indeed, for free.
The ones who still think otherwise are -as far as I am concerned- sleeping while trying to live.
Hoping this reality will sink in Egypt and a new sense of SPIRITUALITY can arise from egyptian s long memory of God in all its Greatness. If there is a people with deep memories of the real meaning of SPIRITUALITY that people is from EGYPT.
I have a dream!
*And I am not Malcom X.
May Ancient Egypt s incredible knowledge and Insight return to this blessed land.
Yes, I am a dreamer and an uthopy lover. For some reason I am an artist!

Cairo, the 27th February, 2011

Food for thought, heart, soul and...


Cairo, the 27th February, 2011

Arrival to Cairo
*But not just another return....
Putting my Super Woman cape once again and asking God to give me the strenght, clarity of mind and HEART to face this new challenge that is this brand NEW EGYPT.
I cried all the way to my home yesterday.
Tears of sadness and joy.
Landing in Cairo after the Revolution and being, once more, prepared to the absolute possibilities of EMPTINESS was not easy.
Something hard to define because I am landing on a different ground and there are informations our soul gets way before our mind does. The SOUL knows better!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Portugal, the 15th February, 2011

Simply Isadora...

«It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence.»

«The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul. »

«You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you. »
Isadora Duncan


the 15th February,


Missing my Egyptian stages and preparing for Italy´s GREAT CONVENTION...

The work of an ARTIST is on 24/7.

If I am not performing or teaching, I am choreographing to teach, studying, watching other artists and feeding myself with LIFE and all kinds of ART that will be reflected in my work.

An ARTIST does not have a 9.00h till 5.00h job so we never really switch off. Well, I know I never do.

Choreographing, feeling what will come next. The ones who stop to grow, simply die and - By God! - I am alive.:)

Portugal, the 15th February, 2011

Great news from Cairo!

I´ve been hearing such GREAT NEWS from getting back on track and a renewed sense of FREEDOM and BUILDING force that was not on egyptian´s faces before this Revolution happened.

This is a time to dream, to enjoy some sweet illusions as well (proper of every Revolution´s after math) and to BUILD a new country.

A main initial BIG step was given but it was just the first step. To have the democracy and happy country Egypt deserves to be, people have to mobilize now to educate themselves, work hard and honestly and make as much pressure as possible to have free, fair, transparent elections on next September.

I hope this will be the case.

Meanwhile, I just wish to return to Cairo and get on with "my part" of the job. No promises, no ideas.

Actions will speak for myself, as they always do.

P.S. Missing Egypt. Too much.............................................

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our ability to dream is nothing if our will and actions are not strong and brave enough.
A single step towards the realization of a dream is worth 1000 dreams that are nothing but wishes thrown at the air.
A simple wish has its power but will not manifest unless we do the WALK towards it, taking risks, accepting losses and sacrifices. No dream is for free. The bigger the dream, the bigger the price to pay.
The key to a DREAM´s realization is not the DREAM per se but the ACTIONS/STEPS we take to see them happen.

BLACK SWAN - Official HD trailer

For the black swan to be born, the white has to die.
For FREEDOM to be born, all our fears, insecurities and mind controled bodies have to die.
Reaching Light through our dark, shadow side...
Amazing message for all dancers and human beings in general as well.

´Cause PERFECTION is not about control and fitting the mold but letting your wings rise you up and just let yourself go, connecting with yourself and your audience from the deepest, darkest, most genuine and truthful part of your SOUL.

Portugal, the 13th February, 2011
The Black Swan (is born)...
«The only person standing in your way is YOU.»
From the movie "The Black Swan"

Portugal, the 13th February,


A New sun rising over Egypt...

Friday, February 11, 2011

I am so excited and proud of my egyptian people that I can´t hardly speak (or write, for that matter).
I received the news about President´s Mubarak resignation through a journalist that was interviewing me for a famous radio station.
She asked me what I thought about it and I just yelled of JOY (on the air!) and couldn´t say much except: "I am so proud of egyptian people."
I really am.
I imagine Cairo will have a non-stop party tonight.
Now there´s so much to do, work to be done, stuff and economy to rebuild, brand NEW HORIZONS to define.
I ask God to bring a great transition to our Egypt and better LIFE for everyone.
Can´t wait to return to my home in Cairo and see huge smiles on people´s faces.

Portugal, the 11th February, 2011
What will happen NEXT?
That´s the question on every egyptian´s mind and also in mine.
What will I find when I return - end of this month - to Cairo?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Portugal, the 10th February, 2011

Hopes high...and reality check.

The world was waiting for President Mubarak´s resignation and passing over of power but Destiny played a trick on us, once again... Tahrir Square will not see a normal life from tomorrow and the country will not get back on track along with the morning prayers.
New, even bigger demonstrations are planned for tomorrow.
Once again,I was invited on National News to comment on a possible HISTORICAL VICTORY of the brave egyptian protestants who stand still at the battle front, refusing to leave while the current President is still in the political picture of the country.
Hopes - mine included - were high but no such luck!
Holding my breath to see what will happen tomorrow and what will I find when I return to Egypt in the end of this month.
Did I mention this all STILL seems like a heavy, improbable dream I am not able to wake up from?!

Portugal, the 10th February, 2011


A daughter of the Sun. This is, essencially, who I am.

Knowing this, how can I stand all this waiting, not knowing what will happen to my beloved Egypt and what I will find as soon as I land in Cairo by the end of this month?!

The "waiting" and uncertainty is the worst part of it all.
President Hosny Mubarak insists on staying in power until September elections and protesters insist on his total disappearance from egyptian political scene.
Life is getting back to "normal" - if that will ever be possible again - in a terribly slow pace and we all fear for our futures.
Hope this REVOLUTION will bring BETTER LIVES for everyone and compensate for the incredible losses - human, economical, etc - Egypt has already suffered during this process.
Wish to sit in a baladi coffee-shop and have a over-sweetened tea with the men. While they smoke their shisha and stare at me, I practice the exercise of dettachment (of reality), tolerance and miraculous ability of BEING in the NOW and actually ENJOYING it without wishing to change it.
Not even for a millimeter.
Hard times can teach you the BIGGER LESSONS.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Joana Saahirah of Cairo dancing Mohamed Abdul Wahab

Me, doing "my thing" on an improbable song by the great egyptian composer Mohamed Abdul Wahab.
The song is "Min Kher Leh" ("Without asking why") was suggested by my dearest friend Mahmoud Reda.
I always dance it differently and, although it´s not common to see it performed by dancers in Cairo, it has become one of my favourites.

I always did it and do it my way, didn´t I ?!

Monday, February 7, 2011

These Arms Of Mine Otis Redding (***Lyrics Included***) .:oldies:.

Out of the Egyptian Revolution mood...
Just a bit of love and sexiness to break the tension of the last 10 days.
Some kind of evasion, dream, remembering of the "good times" we had and hope to enjoy once again in the womb of a new Egypt (with God´s Will and Help)!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Joana Saahirah of Cairo improvizing on egyptian tabla


Missing my Cairo´s usual stage at the NILE MAXIM and all the other amazing (and strange!) venues I had to chance to work at...
missing everything I once took for granted.
My work and amazing musicians with their childish crazy quarrels, the odour of shisha and hot tea boiling from "baladi" coffee-shops, the sudden love affairs enjoyed to the sound of Om Kolthoum, the surprises of every single day in a magical land where human logic does not apply.

And learning the TRUE meaning of APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE.
Dreaming about returning to Cairo as soon as possible!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lisbon, the 5th February, 2011
Praying for my beloved Egypt...
I am a chaotic mess close to Egypt´s actual situation.Mirrors of each other, it seems.
Praying, using all my efforts and public exposure to help, within my limitations, Egypt to return to PEACE and rise UP as a NEW, HAPPIER country for us all.
I dream about returning home, holding the ones I love in my arms, get back to work with a RENEWED sense of JOY and creativity and...have my Egypt back!
I even started - already! - to phantasize about the smell of shisha and boiling tea...nostalgia.
Wishing to get back home to Cairo as soon as possible.
May God - and men in power - listen to our prayers.

Lisbon, the 5th February,2011

Check this interview I gave to the wonderful site "BellyDanceFinder"!

Full article available clicking on the following link:

Umpublished entries I wrote in the last days in Cairo!

~Here they are...the whispers of a slow growing despair expressed in the last words I wrote in Cairo, at my home in Zamalek while hearing people´s protesting in the streets, the strong roar of Army airplanes passing by my roof and gun shots.

These were my words to myself, to my dear Egypt, to GOD.


Cairo, the 1st of February, 2011

Standing by...

Still the uncertain future for our country. The worst thing to deal with, for me, it’s this “stand by” situation where nothing moves forward.
The portuguese embassy, following the example of other embassies which already provided free flights for their nationality fellows, is trying to arrange for an airplane to take us to Portugal tomorrow.

Leaving the country gives me a mixed feeling sensation. For one side, I would feel more useful in Portugal until the country goes back to its tracks (or, Inshah Allah, for BETTER tracks) and I would appease my family and friend´s generalized panic instead of being locked up at home or not being able to demonstrate in the streets along with my fellow egyptians. I feel useless and frustrated right now, locked at home with no idea of what will come or when we’ll go back to work and return to our lives.
Immobility and restraint from freedom, more than anything else, make me feel very nervous and frustrated.

Not being able to go about my life and doing all the things I love to do and work, enjoy life, simply walking with no fear in the streets is REALLY freaking me out.
Never in my life did I understand this deeply the meaning and VALUE of PEACE and FREEDOM.
From another point of view, I feel deeply sad for leaving Egypt now as it seems I am abandoning my homeland. Strange, nostalgic, cruel feeling. I don´t wish it upon anyone.

An unusual number of portuguese journalists called during these days. They want to interview me.
Uh! Funny, isn’t it? I’ve done so much great work here in Cairo and around the world for about 5 years and I do give interviews to portuguese journalists but this is the first time I receive requests for several interviews (radio and newspapers) within the last three days. War and chaos sells much more than ART, CREATION and VICTORIES, doesn’t it? It seems so...

If everything goes according to plan, we will fly back to Portugal tomorrow afternoon and, even if we do, it will be the saddest flight of my life. Leaving Egypt right now pains me deeply and all I wish is that all turns around for the better and I can return safely to a happier country with a new sense of PEACE and PROSPERITY. After all, this is also MY COUNTRY and, by travelling now, I am leaving behind my own home, some very dear friends and people I love, my work and musicians, my beloved Sweetie and Kenzi (my cats) and lots of things that became important to me.

Life is REALLY unexpected! Oh, LORD! No matter how much we try to organize it, guess how it will go and develop, events take their own toll without asking permission from anyone or giving any hints about their intentions. Who would guess egyptian men would have to defend their homes with their own hands, spending nights patrolling the streets because there’s a Revolution going on and all the police was retreated from the streets to install further chaos?!
Who would know that there would be a REVOLUTION in Egypt, all of a sudden (although it had built up for the last 30 years of hard life for egyptians)?!

The iconic sentence “ CARPE DIEM” never made more sense than now. We really ONLY have the NOW to live with. Nothing is certain, everything changes and takes its course, independenty of our wishes.

Cairo, the 30th January, 2011

Notes from the Revolution

What’s happening in Egypt since the 25th January is a matter much bigger than myself, my own personal opinions and dramas. This is BIG. As a resident, as an artist who lives and works in this country with egyptians and for egyptians, I feel proud – for the first – time to see this people taking a brave act towards the dignity and prosperity of their country.
For the first time, I saw courageous men and women taking the streets and not being afraid of risk their lives for the future of their country. I feel Egypt as my own country so it’s only natural that I also hope for the best to come.

Facing this MAJOR changes in Egypt, country that is already mine, takes me away from my own personal goals and worries and gives me a different perspective on Life as a much bigger thing than my own reduced personal world.

Yet...there are some personal notes on the Revolution that I consider kind of funny as I observe myself and the way I am coping with all the shock, immobility, unstability and chaos.
Here’s the funny behaviours I am developing in order not to freak out completely in the midst of this Revolution:

Keeping in touch with family and friends from all over the world that are reaching for me, more worried than me about the whole situation;
Doing my yoga practices at home, on my pink yoga mat with the small knowledge I have of the subject and always with a pink burning candle in front of me. This practice keeps my mind clear, calm and controlled;
Writing these “Revolution” notes – which I only started writing today – in order to be able to retreat myself from the problem and see it unfold, at least for a while, through the eyes of the OBSERVER I also am;
Watching the news with my friend/neighbour who has been at my home for long periods of time. We catch up on the news, mutual frustrations and aspirations for the country and for us. We also eat cookies and have some girlie chats that I would never waste my time having in ordinary circumnstances;
I – try – to read as much as I can (concentration levels are not at their best right now) and finish fous books that I started reading at the same time;
I burn candles, incense and aromatic oils at home. I don’t even feel them anymore but I imagine my home must smell like a church from miles away;
I keep the house clean and neat. I organized my dancing dresses and material, I deeply cleaned the windows with loads of water and I bath more often than usual (?!). I guess that every process of DEATH requires a sub-consequent purification ritual. For me, that starts with my mind, home, body and dance material.
I breath deeper and calmer than ever and think: “What can I do if not go with the flow?!”;
I also seem to have a recurrent thought in my mind ALL the time. An inside voice saying in a kind of a harsh way:
“Do not procrastinate. Don’t leave for after what you can do NOW”.

I hope all this chaos will be appeased and solved as soon as possible and we’re all back to our lives, working and walking free in the streets of Cairo with no fear and with a NEW HOPE for a better future.
I hope...


Cairo, the 30th January, 2011

Developments of today...

Strange things:
How strangely liberating it was simply to walk down the 26th of July street in Zamalek this morning. My legs were not doing their usual “walk” but flying...
To breath, see the birds and the sun, some men in the street with added cortesy and attentive tenderness as if protecting me when I passed by, a general mood of aprehension yet peace, in midst of all this chaos.
Most supermarkets and shops are closed and heavily sealed. I managed to find an open grocery, a small place with cigarettes, envelopes for letters, water and cookies.
I got my letter envelopes (don’t know why!), some bottles of water and a pack of egyptian, heavily artificial cookies.
As I left the place, I couldn’t resist on getting my February issue of “Vanity Fair” and the seller (an old man always in smiling mode) joked with me. We laughed together and, for some seconds, the world was back in order and perfect joy. Smiling and joking in the middle of crisis were assets I got/learnt from egyptians. I am a good student!

In a sudden "diva" attack, I hoped to find my “moccha cafe” usual shop open. No such luck!
Call it “craziness” but I try to keep some normality within this generalized chaos.
I even prepared myself to attend my yoga class at 7.00 a.m. The teacher didn’t come, though... Am I against the tide, as usual?

Most people are afraid. I don’t feel afraid for NOW. I feel frustrated with all this immobility, criminality and chaos that arose from an initially rightful manifestation for human rights in Egypt.
I feel frustrated because people are fighting between each other, instead of producing GOOD things for this country we all love and wish to see growing and prosperous on every level.
I feel frustrated that connections are cut or severely damaged (internet is not working for three days now and mobile phones go on and off network functioning) and no one knows what to, where we will go, what will happen next.

The country is delivered to criminals (in what, it seems, was a very low level strategy from the Government to shift people’s attention and presence from the street manifestations to their neighbourhoods where they were protecting their houses and families during the whole last night due to the police disappearance from the city). This has not been proven though. There are different versions of the story and the truth became foggier it than ever was.
Everyone is asking: “ Where is the police?!”
Several prisons registered a strangely coincident general escape from prisoners and Government allegates that this happened because most police force is being used to control the manifestations and disturbs that came with it.
This created a bigger chaos and but it didn´t stop protests. The supposed low tactic to re-direct people´s atention to the defense of their homes doesn´t seem to be working because egyptian people did not shut up and keep on fighting for their rights in the streets, specially in Tahrir Square.

Airplanes very close to the ground are heard throughout the city. I guess this is another way of trying to intimidate people and keep them at home.
Egyptian people, though, seem to be braver than ever and that gives me a sense of pride in their strenght that I never had before.

I’m receiving phone calls from friends spread all over the world, concerned about what’s happening.
At the same time, I am strangely calm cause there’s so little in my hands to solve. No one knows what will happen in the next few hours, much less in the forsight future.
No one has any idea of how to recover from all this chaos and get President Mubarak to abdicate from his presidency and, if he does, what will fill the void that he will leave and return PEACE, ORDER and PRODUCTIVITY to this country.
No one knows.

I don’t even feel like traveling and leaving Egypt right now. This is, after all, my second home (or, perhaps, the first) and the place where my last year’s of struggle, victories and LIFE has occurred. Yet it frustrates me to be stuck at home with no work, no connection to the outside world except through television and some sparse mobile connection and DOING NOTHING.

My mum tells me to read!
Yes, I try. I am always reading but not in the middle of this chaos with no sense of what will come next...
I plan to do some serious yoga practice after a while, just to keep me calm and mentally sane and yes, I plan to read a bit and folllow the news.

What else can I do???

I even thought about offering Dance classes to the women in my neighbourhood to keep us busy, united and joyful in the middle of all this tension but I reflected on it: who would be in the mood to dance right now?! Everyone would presume I am crazy beyond the extraordinary borders of current generalized craziness...or not. I don´t know.

Frustrating is the word of the day.


Cairo, the 30th January, 2011

Egypt’s Revolution

No one saw it coming (or did we?!). Egyptian typical apathy and ability to surround limitations (hence the generalized dishonesty and corruption) didn’t announce what was coming to this country from a few days ago.
The interesting thing is that I always took PEACE for granted and even commented with one of my employees that the best thing about Egypt was its peace and the smooth, peaceful way of most egyptians. I made this remark about 10 days ago. How ironic!

Egypt has presented me ALL kinds of challenges. I often feel this was an experience (kinf of sadistic one, I may add) God planned to play on me. I was sent to a country where ALL my beliefs, “for sures” and values were put to the text to an extreme.
I have almost lost my life here, I have faced personal and professional challenges (I call them “challenges”, others may call them “tragedies” or simply “ remarkable obstacles”) that very few would be able to deal with and I remained the same BUT with a wider mind, heart and soul (I hope).
You see...there’s this thing about living as a single foreign woman dancer in Egypt: it breaks you and drops you on the gutter or it makes you so strong that no tempest or hurricane of any kind would shake your bases.

Now what do we have here?!
I am not writing anymore about a personal quest of mine. This is something bigger than my own, little, limited personal world. We are talking about an EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION that, by now, has been taken the lives of many innocent people, has been destroying public and private property, blocking the whole country’s functioning and instilling a generalized sense of terror all around Cairo.

Personal matters and delicate emotional wounds seem to vanish into void, right now. There’s a REAL, most urgente matter to focus on: PEACE. And what will happen to Egypt and to the lives of egyptians and everyone who lives here (like me), works and pays his/her taxes, has his/her home and career, his/her life!
What will come next?
Predisent Mubarak doesn’t seem to abdicate from this “throne” and, due to that and provoked disturbs all over the country, LIFE never seemed more umpredictable than now.

I never thought that simply going to the street to buy your piece of bread could be such a privilege. Until now.
New’s reports say that thousands of prisoners escaped from a specific prison in Cairo due to police shortage protecting it and they are attacking, robbing, vandalizing the whole city.
The POLICE itself disappeared from the streets. No protection whatsoever from anything or anyone. Not a single police man around totally vulnerable neighborhoods and, it seems, some Army cars in strategic spots of the city. That’s all.

This seems like a strategy to create chaos in Egypt and avoid further demonstrations by keeping people busy protecting their homes, families and properties.
Men from the whole city gathered yesterday night in human chains of protection of their neighbourhoods. Civils are doing the job of police and police disappeared.

This should sound absurd to me but, by now, egyptian life has taken its toll on me and not even the biggest absurd fact in this world would seem strange to me.

I was advised by family, friends, neighbours and the journalists on television to avoid, at all costs, going into the street so I remained at home yesterday in an imposed retreat that felt like one year domicile emprisonment.
The internet connection is still not working and the mobile network’s failing. All life is STOPPED, its breath is becoming stale with antecipation and immobility. “What will come next?”

People want President Hosny Mubarak out and immediate DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS. IT´s their right to want so.

Yet the demonstrations which started being diplomatic and led by educated, politically counscient people, became a dangerous mix of rightful, decent fighters for freedom , justice and a true democratic system and thugs, criminals, vandalism, thieves, etc.
Even the “National Egyptian Museum” was attacked by vandals and several other shops, private homes and Government buildings. This is not the good egyptian people I know, though...

Things have gone totally out of hand and the question in everyone’s head is” What’s next?”

No country can hold itself without producing, working, functioning in every level. Banks are closed as most of the offices and shops.
I went to the street this morning in Zamalek and found a little ghost city in what was a lively commercial zone. Mostly men in the street smiling at me, still throwing sexual remarks or simply saying I am beautiful. Even in the middle of this huge chaos, egyptian men stick to their guns (literally speaking).:)

My work has been canceled on all levels and no one knows when it will return to LIFE.
Now I truly understand the MEANING and VALUE of PEACE. The luxury of simply going to the street and work, produce something valuable through your work, shop for the fridge, meet some friends, go to the cinema, take a coffee with a loved one, etc. All those simple, apparently ordinary gestures I once took for granted are now put to the test and taken away. Simply taken away.

Men’s faces in the street – as I saw them this morning- are half defiant and half afraid. Afraid for their future and their family’s future, not for their own safety. In this aspect, egyptian men have surprised me in the courageous way they have fought until now, risking their own lives in order to make a significant CHANGE in a country which is dying, little by little due to a regime that has been on for more than 30 years and has put CORRUPTION, DICTATORSHIP and SOCIAL INJUSTICE in the order of the day.

People are tired of extreme poverty and no hope for a better tomorrow. I hope for the same for myself and all my fellow egyptians.

And how did I get caught up in all this?!
As egyptians would say, if they would not be busy defending their homes from thugs right now, “NASIBI!” (MY DESTINY).