Thursday, November 22, 2007


The first time I celebrated Thanksgiving — and it had to be in Egypt. And naturally our adopted country had a part to play — with over 20 friends, too many to sit around one dining table, my first thanksgiving meant not one, but TWO turkeys and tons of beautiful sides including gravy, stuffing and cheesy mashed potatoes. Sometimes, these Americans sure strike gold with their ideas.


Now you see it.....

Now you don't!
I have a lot to be thankful for :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


It was only appropriate that I celebrate my Arab-versary in Egypt (yep - 1 whole year in Egypt)
watching an exclusive performance by Nancy Agram at Manial Palace.
The biggest (and ever-ubiquitous) female artist in the country, performing at one of the most picturesque properties — and all with yours truly standing next to the richest man in Egypt, Naguib Sawiris, owner of Orascom Telecoms, number one on the bt100, and according to Forbes, #62 on The World's Billionaires 2007.

Perfect, sa7?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

How to Dance Egyptian-Sufi Style

No, no, no — you're doing it all wrong. That's Turkish Sufi stylee. Here's how we do it in good ole Masr.

Relax arms and let them follow the flow of your body. Swing ya pelvis to the right — Thrust. Swing ya pelvis to the left — Thrust. For extra attention, stand solitary on the mosque wall.

So I finally made it to a Mawlid in Egypt. The biggest all year, in fact, in Tanta, near the delta where the Nile branches off. Word of advice if you attempt the same thing, if you happen to be too lazy to get train tickets the night before and turn up at the station 10minutes before the train leaves the next morning, no fear, just hop on anyway and if you're lucky, a rare Egyptian gentleman will give up his seat for you when he notices that the 600 highly sexually-frustrated — highly spiritual too, of course, they're going to a religious festival, yani! — are starting to hone in on your sliver of standing space.

We'd been pre-warned. A million people descending on a tiny city like Tanta spells trouble for us foreign girls. If you go, make sure you sandwich yourself between bodyguard friends. In reality, it really wasn't all that bad. In fact, the only time I got molested was walking out of the big mosque. I love irony, I really do. I regret to say, additionally, this mosque — granted it was because of the crowds — was the FILTHIEST I have ever come across. When I put on my shoes before I was meant to because I didn't want to soil my socks, my friend told me off for disrespecting the mosque. I'm sorry, but I'm not the first person to be disrespecting the mosque, it's already fallen beyond respect.

Otherwise, it was an awesome evening. The hundreds of colourful tents, the sufi singers who sang like rockstars, the unimaginable amount of sugarcane! For the first time in over a decade, I got to chew on raw sugarcane bamboo. If I hadn't know this was a mawlid, I would've thought it was some sort of celebration of a sugarcane deity. Families were literally picking bamboo strewn about on the streets and taking them home to eat.

I asked this man if I could take a photo of him — he was just so rad
with his big green turban and big, colourful flower lollipop —
but he refused. So I sneaked one of him. Badass paparazzi-style.
Crates of shisha tobacco.

Shisha pipes for sale.
All day there were people streaming into town from all over Egypt,
sitting and waiting in cafes, sidewalks, the streets. This man was particularly
enthusiastic when I asked him if I could take a shot.
One of many tents.
What I dubbed the "Inside a Human body" tent.