Everyone is celebrating in Egypt (well, not Mubarak and his cohort!!) and many must be dancing. It is a momentous day, for the Egyptians and for the rest of the Arab world. And to celebrate with the Egyptians, I am turning to one of their greatest stars and my favourite belly dancer, Tahiya Carioca. Mabruk Egypt and mabruk to the Egyptian people. You make us all proud :).



Every year I wish for a white Christmas and this year it looks like I will be getting my wish, except that I am not where it is snowing and I may not make it back in time if the airport remains closed. So, to cheer myself up, I’ve gone to my you tube stash of belly dance videos to choose my dancer for December and here is a a very young and festive looking Tahiya Carioca who is now officially my favorite dancer. I also love Samia Gamal but Tahiya is classier and one day, I will post an interview with the two of them showing how they aged, quite differently one from the other: Tahiya matronly but still fun and twinkly and Samia still trim but rather precious. Wishing you all a very happy Xmas!



Tonight I had dinner at Momo in Melbourne, where the supremely talented Greg Malouf does  his own take on Lebanese and other dishes. All very delicious. After dinner, Greg showed us the Spice Market next door, a rather extravagant space where you can travel the silk route. And somewhere in the middle, there is a circular room with low seating and plush cushions which can be completely closed off and where there is a minimum spend. Obviously for the very wealthy. I didn’t ask if the management supplied belly dancers with the champagne and other drinks but the setting reminded me that I hadn’t yet posted my belly dancer of the month who is Zieinat Elwi. She may not be as brilliant as Samia Gamal nor as classy as Tahiya Carioca but she is good. And I love the music she is dancing to.



A French friend once told me that dancing was the vertical expression of horizontal intentions. I can’t dance. So, if I need to express such intentions, I have to resort to other means! But Tahiya Carioca sure can. And the way she expresses it is beyond sexy, and without being in the least bit vulgar. The more I watch her videos, the more I wonder why I ever thought she was. It must have been my silly French convent school in Beirut that made me seriously prejudiced against belly dance then. Too bad. I missed out on seeing her in real life when I could have.