“I killed Scherezade” by Joumana Haddad

Rereading “I killed Scherezade” by Joumana Haddad

Contradictory and thought provoking. Not an exceptional book, by any standard, but one that may interest Egyptian Dance, and Culture, lovers.

It´s funny how so called professionals of Egyptian Dance – or bellydance, as people still insist on calling it – often presume they don´t need to understand the culture behind the dance they claim to represent. I disagree with that 1000%. Not only did I study, and built a career, in Egypt, as well as having performed in other Middle Eastern countries; not only did I learn Arabic and experienced the culture from within – in my personal and professional life -, but I keep studying, reviewing, reading, researching. I feel I´ve just lifted a tiny part of the veil and I want to keep lifting, hoping to get closer to the truth. If there´s such a thing as (Universal) Truth.

Our view of the world depends on our personal experience, the way life shapes us. My interpretation of this book is no exception. I bring all my interactions with Middle Eastern men, and women, to the table when I read it. We cannot escape ourselves.

I´d love to hear about YOUR perspective on the subject: where do Middle Eastern Women stand nowadays? Are they liberated or still bound by a violent, possessive, castrating Patriarchal, Muslim oriented mentality? Most important than that: where do all women stand nowadays? Are we truly free from society´s limiting laws and pressures?

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The Gipsy (in Slovenia)

lower 2.jpgThey called her princess but she knew better, smiling at them, nodding to make them feel appreciated.

They thought they knew her but nobody knew her, not even her.
How can you know the Unknown?

She was the wind – a Gipsy, her mum said since the day she was born, ripping her tiny bits of hair off and screaming to the top of her lungs -, an unpredictable wave that hits you when, and where, you least expect it.

-You always leave. – Said her lovers, unaware she left because she had to; she left because there was no reason to stay.

She was not defined by labels, appearances, expectations.
Only her heart, and its dangerous whispers, directed her actions. Only her heart knew her. (Perhaps not even her heart for the heart is an open door and open doors lead nowhere and everywhere).

The Gipsy dances beyond the veil.

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Text by Joana Saahirah
Photos of Joana Saahirah taken by Breda Jurečko taken backstage before show in Maribor, Slovenia.

Book addict HIGH

22196388_1385180301579317_2383188442271001277_nNew treasures just arrived to my doorstep.

Book lover happiness mode is ON; frustrated at the little time I have for reading (long flights and airport waiting periods make the trick); amazed at the amount of incredible books produced by the human mind.

*
Educate yourself; feed the inside; make sure your appearance carries a fabulous, beautiful, world within. Contents make the person. And the dancer.

Glimpses of The Magic lived in Slovenia

Working with a professional, talented, generous orchestra is MY thing. I got used to performing with the best Egyptian musicians I´ve ever known during my years of life, and career, in Cairo. And, let´s admit, I got spoilt and never, until today, got used to working with recorded music.

When Ksenija, the organizer of my last work trip to Slovenia and my dear friend, told me she was bringing an orchestra for the event, I was thrilled and I knew we could do something great. I´d nagged, and nagged, her about it; I´d requested a live orchestra, on several occasions, and here they were; finally!

No time to rehearse or prepare workshops or/and show. And still the Magic happened. What you see in the following videos is a bit of what we experienced in our “Baladi Awadi with live orchestra” workshop & “Classical + Modern Egyptian Dance” workshop. I hope you can taste the love…

Follow the links to enjoy other videos from my latest workshops in Slovenia:

 Joana Saahirah and Mazzikatea orchestra Baladi Improvisation in Slovenia (Workshop): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Tsb2Zhft4

❤ Baladi improvisation by Joana Saahirah for Morocco (Aunt Rocky): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqaY2geZPHw&t=1s

❤ Joana Saahirah Around the World Choreography in Slovenia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4HTbIjfSOg&t=3s

Joana Saahirah in Slovenia September

Let The Fall begin!

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Hello, October!
Hello, Fall!
Hello, Death & Rebirth (the meaning of Fall)!
Each Season is an opportunity to leave something behind and start something new. With Fall comes death and with death comes rebirth.We, too, can surrender and allow ourselves to fall so we can rise higher after that. Remember the ground – earth – is always there to sustain, embrace and heal you.
Wonder what you don´t need to keep anymore – old, outdated cloths, furniture, beliefs, grudges, prejudices – and throw it away while focusing on what you wish for this new season.
The colors of Nature, the Fire Places lighting up, the cosiness of a rainy, dark, blanket & television Sunday afternoon; holding hands with a loved one during a walk in the park, comfort food, hot chocolate with a close friend, the light, the promise of retreat and inner peace – these are my favorite things related to Fall. What are yours?

My Life is a Television Series

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Image via Jadranka Tričković-Mohr

My feeling ALL-THE-TIME.
If anyone wants to feel amused, shocked, in awe, hopeful, in absolute despair and mind blown, ask me to tell you a bit, a tiny bit, of my life. Then you´ll know what a great story is.

People only see the tip of the iceberg, not imagining what´s beneath – how many blessings, inner search trips, struggles, obstacles, hard work and doubts run through me.

They ask me: what are you complaining about when you have the life most people can only dream of?

I never had a single thing handed down to me. Never. Everything I am, and achieved, was conquered with hard work, sacrifices and sweat. And I´m not here begging for a free ride but...well…wait…I kind of…am. I´ve earned it, man!

If Louise Hay, and all other Positive Thinking visionaries, are correct, I´ve been attracting the struggle and the need for hard work in order to achieve what I´ve conquered. Maybe they´re right; maybe not (who knows?).

I´d like to believe that, once my beliefs change, my reality changes accordingly. The fact is I´m a positive person who expects the best from people and life, in general; I focus on myself, and my life, and I refuse to harm a flie. Or myself, for that matter.

I know, and believe (those are different things: knowing and believing), I´m worthy and deserving of the best, smoothest ride, and yet my life experience often disagrees.

Fair enough: I enjoy a good amount of extraordinary people, and experiences, on a daily basis but, then again, I earn that reality. If I put positivity, creativity and love out there, why shouldn´t I receive the same back? Isn´t life a boomerang – you receive what you put out there?

And why are there jerks – and I mean devilish JERKS – who harm others, lie, offend, destroy and have a fabulous life?

I´ve materialized most of my dreams and, if I died today, I´d die a happy person. That´s true – it´s not all bad and, I repeat, you won´t see me complaining any time soon. But the weight I (also) carry on my back won´t shut up. Creeps keep creeping in – don´t you love the sound of that triple C-K-C? –  and no fruits fall from a tree I didn´t plant, water and worked on with my own, bleeding, exhausted hands. Which leaves me with the questions: where´s the reality that matches my positive thinking? If I´m doing my homework, sort of speak, correctly, where´s the reward?

Furthermore: can positive thinking avoid life´s darkest side?

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Although I don´t play the victim and focus on the POSITIVE, dismissing the negative at all costs, the truth is life is constantly offering me a varied pallette of experiences, most of them quite challenging, many of them harsh enough to break the bones of any mentally healthy, strong human being. Independently of how much heart, and quality, I put into things, nothing comes easy. And I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G. There are envy and hate patrols around me, enemies coming out of nowhere, unpleasant surprises and obstacles on every corner. I wonder why. And why not.

Is life supposed to be hard or simple?

Are we supposed to work hard for what we wish for or believe it will be handed to us without struggle?

Is the change of our beliefs enough to change our reality?

I wish I had the answers to those, and many others, questions. I don´t. Not yet. So I keep riding the waves, the best I can, and keep hoping for the best.

P.S: I´d just like to ask the screen writers to take it easy on the obstacles, the envy & haters patrols, and the disappointments. I´ve had my share, and then some, of those. Thank you.

*Food for Thought. Follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMZZT73kgc

Aim for RESPECT, not fame

16473008_10210651908606724_1592664473864052724_nAchieving fame is easy and it can be done in all sorts of clean, or dirty, ways. Achieving respect is an whole other level of success.

Anyone can be famous, for interesting and for the poorest reasons; not everybody´s able to earn RESPECT. That´s built from a continuous proof of value, character, honesty, intelligence, talent, accountability, self-respect and respect for others. What you do, in the background, when nobody´s watching, defines you and will transpire towards the exterior world, sooner or later.

Aim to earn RESPECT instead of fame at any price. That bullshit won´t define you or give you the fullfilment you´re dreaming about.

Just sayin´…

Joana Saahirah USA & CANADA SOULful 2017 TOUR this November

 

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Joana Saahirah of Cairo Fan Page & The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life and Beyond by Joana Saahirah 4th USA & Canada SOULful 2017 TOUR

From Egypt to the World, brining back the Soul of Oriental Dance.

Tour dates/locations:

*Delaware, USA, on the 3,4,5th November. Contact Zahra Noor for more information.

*Atlanta, USA, on the 10,11,12th November. Contact Faaridah Raqs for more information.

*Portland, Oregon, USA, on the 17th, 18th November. Contact Heather Henna Louise for more information.

*Quebec, CANADA, on the 24,25,26th November. Contact Sarah Jawida Vezina for more information.

Getting down and dirty. Or just real.

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The ugly side of me  or me, raw and real, after finishing a harsh, tearful yoga practice. Dishevelled, chaotic, feeling and looking weird as hell. Perfect. Allowing myself to be fragile, vulnerable and messy is just another step, a very important one, towards becoming fully human.
Messy is real. Honest is beautiful. Pain can heal. This baby’s on a Journey