Monday, February 27, 2006


Escape to Sinai – Feb 23 - 26!

The plan was to take the hellish bus all the way back to Cairo, but right after we crossed the border it was a gorgeous day and the Red Sea was looking mighty blue, so Rami and I looked at each other and said,”let’s go to Sinai for a few days!” We jumped in a local cab and went to Tarabin, a remote beach resort on the Red Sea.

WOW! Where to I start? First of all, because of the terrorism scare, this place that is usually teeming with Israeli vacationers was EMPTY! Bad for the local workers but nice for us! We went to the Nikhil Inn on the end of the strip and got an upstairs room with a balcony right over the beach. This place has a staff that is gracious and hard working by day and at night they turn into incredible dancers and drummers. As a matter of fact all along the beach in the shops we found wonderful tabla players that we jammed with!

After a day or two of being there, we didn’t feel anymore that we were on vacation. Word spread fast about who we were (and half of the people recognized us from TV) and we could not walk down the strip with out the store people begging us to drum or for me to play “reni li shwoye shwoye” and other Egyptian favorites on the kemenche.

Typical Scene on our way to lunch:
We are walking down the beach on our way to have lunch at our favorite restaurant.

Carpet Guys: Hey where were you last night? You promised you would come to the shop and play and we invited all our friends and you didn’t show up! Everyone was waiting for you!!!!

Us: Sorry – the guys at our hotel made us play all night – the chef Mohammed is a drummer and wanted to jam with us – we couldn’t leave!

Carpet Guys- Ok – so play now.

Us: We’re on our way to lunch – we’ll stop by later.

Carpet Guys – When?

Us – We don’t know exactly – we’re supposed to be on vacation.

Carpet Guys – Alright then, at 9

Us – We’ll try

Carpet Guys- You promise?

Us – Ein Sh’alla.

At one time we actually triple booked! We told our hotel staff, the carpet guys and they Beduin bracelet girls that we would come by and play, all on the same night! It got to be uncomfortable towards the third day – we had to sneak down the beach in the dark wearing disguises, hoping to make it to our room without being asked to perform!

But it was really one of the closes places to paradise that I can imagine. And the great news is:


I’ve arranged everything with the hotel to have a week long retreat at the Nikhil Inn, Tarabine, Sinai! It will be in March or April – stay tuned for more details. With special guest Fikry (my rababa teacher).

The bus ride back to Cairo was hellish. Rami and I were so bored that we started imitating everyone we know and the other person has to guess who it is. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that we imitated you.

Now we’re back in our Cairo flat, and tomorrow morning will start the next task – getting people to come to our upcoming shows!

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