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The Tradition With Modern Touch

It is mid September in Bahrain but the  sun still proudly shines throughout all the Gulf. We all know what it means, longer time for shorts and shades, tanner skin, beachwear show offs, ice creams with fruit toppings, you know, all other  perks of living in Middle East. 1,032 more words


The dearness of home: Arabic verse attributed to Maysūn bint Baḥdal al-Kalbiyya

The poem below is one of Heimweh. The poetess credited with the poem, whether rightly or wrongly, is Maysūn bint Baḥdal b. Unayf al-Kalbiyya, the mother of Yazīd I and wife of Muʿāwiya, and she is said to have sung these lines after her husband brought her to Syria ( 436 more words


"Jordanian Expectations" by Charlotte Sheridan

This is the first verbal sentence I learned in Arabic and it means I work at the United Nations. I love looking through language textbooks to see what they deem essential in a language. 581 more words

Area & Arabic Language Studies

Soaking it All in: Cultural Encounters at the Hammam

These past two weeks have been full of constant interaction with our Moroccan host culture — whether it has been in our homes with our host families, at school in our classes, or venturing to new places in Rabat or other parts of the country. 542 more words


Samiha Tawfik (1955) سميحة توفيق

Two further clips from ‘Dastet Manadil’ (A Dozen Veils دستة مناديل ), featuring bellydancing by Samiha Tawfik. This is a 1954 film which starred Najah Salam, Karem Mahmoud and Ismail Yassin and tells the story of a laundry man who falls for a beautiful dancer. 20 more words

Belly Dance


Born in Basra in Iraq, Samara moved to Lebanon as a student and took bellydance lessons from Nadia Gamal. The story is that Nadia asked her, ‘Do you want to be a dancer or do you just want the money?’ When Samara replied that she wanted to learn to dance properly, Nadia Gamal encouraged her to practice hard and develop her own personal style. 79 more words

Belly Dance

Uncredited dancer 'Al gadaan al talatha' (1988)

A scene from the 1988 Egyptian film ‘Al gadaan al talatha’ (الجدعان الثلاثة) which starred Samir Ghanem, Mohamed Reda and Hussein el Sherbini.
The dancer in this scene is uncredited, can anyone ID her please? 17 more words

Belly Dance