Dear readers, followers and friends, first of all I want to thank the beautiful messages that I’ve received lately. For me it’s a pleasure to share this space with you and I’m glad that you ask me to write! I want to apologize for the absence. I always try to find some free time to write but is not always possible. I’ll try to not be away so much 😉 This time I want to share with you some moments that I will not forget… some on stage, some recent… Enjoy!
Although there is no curfew “police checkpoints” and “military presence” still in the streets of Cairo. The police stops some vehicles to ask for the papers of the car, the license… It’s rather routine and not for all the vehicles. Mohamed says that when he goes alone in the car nobody stops him to ask anything but when I’m with him the story is different. I don’t know if this is true but when we go together we always have to park and show the papers. These checkpoints are never in the same streets so it’s difficult to avoid them even if you want.
A few days ago we came back from a show and we saw few meters ahead a police checkpoint… A policeman asked the papers to Mohamed. The police took the papers and his license and without even seeing them asked him to park. Mohamed asked: “Just like this? Direct???” The police told him to shut up and do what he said.
We waited a few minutes, since we could not go without the papers and the license. We started worrying when the policeman showed up, who asked with a serious voice many questions… Until he completely changed his expression and exclaimed: “Eh Dah Eh Dah?” (Expression in Egyptian Dialect which means “What’s that?”) And with a big smile he told me: “Excuse me, you’re an artist, right? You perform in a boat in Giza!”. I was very surprised. I told him the truth: “Yes, it’s me!”. He told me he saw me on television and he wanted to take a picture with me but he was wearing the uniform so… in the end he told me that he wish to find me in another time without his police uniform to take a picture with me. We were talking for a while until we asked him if we can go, he said: “Of course! Sorry for the delay! Go ahead!”. He gave us the papers and we left.
I want to dance!
It was a sunny day. I don’t remember exactly the time of the year but I will never forget that day. I had a show in the morning for a tour group, so I was waiting to start. Everything went wonderful and then came the part where I get closer to the audience. I went to a particular table because a woman smiled to me. When I was close to her I realized that she had difficulty for speak and move, she had paralyzed half of her body. She told me: “You are very beautiful! I want to dance!”. Without saying one word I took her hand. It took us a while to get on the stage, and in our way I was wondering if I was doing right! I was afraid she fall or hurt herself! But her smile and her energy “erased” my fears. Once on stage, while we were dancing she told me that she had a car accident but she feel very happy when she is dancing. We danced the whole song together at the end she hugged me strong and said: “Thank you!” I replied: “Thank you!”. No doubt, it was one of the most beautiful shows in my life.
It happen to me always that the audience believe that I’m Egyptian, for that reason I learned to no assume the nationality from anybody… I could be wrong… Looks can be deceiving.
During my show on the first floor I could see between the audience a man who was alone in a table, but was very happy and enjoying the show. In the end I went to change to perform in the second floor, and when I was going up the stairs I found this man and he told me: “You did an amazing show! You are great! Good Job!”. So I replied him in english: “Thank you!”. Completed my shows I was in the dressing room preparing myself to go home when my phone rang… Mohamed told me that it was people from Argentina who wanted to see me. I left the dressing room and I found this “supposed American” who was actually from Cordoba, Argentina. He thought all the time I am Egyptian and I never imagined that he was Argentinian. This happened to me very often with groups from Argentina and Latin America. The last group of Argentina it was a group of women who also took me by Egyptian but one of the waiters when he knew these ladies were from Argentina he told them that I was from there too. So again the phone and they came to the dressing room to say hello! One of them told me: “When we heard your nationality we needed to talk to you! We thought that it would be nice for you to talk with people from your land!”.
Is indeed beautiful for me to find people from Latin America or Spain because they speak my language, and if they are from Argentina I feel like I know them from always.
My show is divided in two parts. The first is my entry and I choose a song for the occasion, depending on if there is a wedding or a special group or… why not? Any suggestions from the audience. The second is a tableaux (Saidi, Scandarani, Baladi…) and that is when I get close to the people. That day, during my second part I saw a covered woman looked at me in a very unfriendly way. But as usual I didn’t pay attention, perhaps I understand the reason of this kind of attitudes, as some Egyptian women are so jealous, but I don’t put my energy into that. When I wanted to leave the stage to go to the tables the heel of my shoe or having stepped wrong or that bloody slit between wood and carpet or whatever… well, I was on the floor.
Me, who had wondered so much about how embarrassing would be the moment when an artist fall. I was horrified when by chance I saw some dancer’s fall and I suffered it as if it was my own! Me? Well, I was sure that “The fall” it wasn’t something you can escape for so long… you are on a stage, your are exposed… it can happen. Easy to say… but when this idea was on my mind before this day I was like: “Oh no God! No please!”. So, I was there, on the floor, asking myself many things… Although my fall was not a big fall for me the result it was the same: “I was on the floor” period!
When I looked up as I stood I saw this woman filming me with her cell phone with a smile from “ear to ear” but her smile far from discourage me gave me strength and made me smile. My musicians were worried looking to me and waiting for me to say something to them… I smiled to them. Some people from the audience didn’t realized about what happened , some other yes and they asked me if I was fine and I replied: “yes!” With a big smile.
I finished my show with a Baladi and an amazing Solo Tabla. The fall It wasn’t THAT terrible anyway and to my surprise I felt “cool as a cucumber”.
The important thing is to getting up: The show must go on!