Monday, February 12, 2007


Feb 9th: Fish Offering, Concert Planning and New Dumbek Design!

Meeting with Said!

We went to Said’s yesterday and had a meeting about our concert!

Rami, Dominique (the guy studying tabla from Canada) and I got to his place at midnight and he wasn’t there yet, so we got to practice really loud in his practice studio for a couple hours before he arrived.

Saiid made up for being so late by bringing us about 30 medium sized grilled fish wrapped in paper. This is like at 2:00am! He put all 30 fish on top of the wrapping on the table and left the room. All for just the three of us! There was nothing else in the meal but the fish and some pita. Not even any silverware! It was a bit overwhelming, but they were delicious (I even tasted a little!).

After the meal we went up to the “office” and talked about our plan for the show. I won’t give it away, but it’s going to be amazing.

I told him about my students who are coming and he said that he needs to hear each of them play before he allows them to perform in the concert!

He told us that Orbit TV has been rerunning footage from our last show again and again for the past two years, and that the show created a huge buzz!

I haven’t hung out with Said in two years and the difference in my Arabic skills is noticeable! We had much better communication – I could understand almost everything he said, and I could express most of what I wanted to say. I still have lots of work to do with the language, but it was satisfying to see that all the studying is paying off and that I don’t feel like such an idiot as I did last time.

New Raquy Dumbek by Gwaret Al Fan

We met with Nasser from Gwaret al Fan and he’s all excited about a new idea for a Raquy Dumbek made out of wood and silver!

I love the regular mother of pearl ones that he’s been making for me, but I’m open to new ideas, so he’s getting a couple ready for me to see and then I’ll decide if I like it or not. His idea is that if I like it, we will make the show in Cairo the “coming out” party for the new designer drum. He’s already made a bunch of the new Raquy drum heads – and they look amazing! Soon hundreds of people will be hitting my picture!

Yom Agaza ( day off) !

The view from my balcony!

Today was my first day off from school! What a luxury! I slept till 2:00pm, went down to the outdoor ahawa on my street and read my book! Then we came back home and Rami made a delicious lunch of salad, cauliflower, green beans and rice! YUM! The veggis here are so delicious it’s hard to believe they’re real! All we have scheduled today is a lesson with Fikry my rababa teacher at night.

My University Class

My class is going great! It totally filled up! They called me from the department yesterday to ask if I would accept a 16th student even though the limit is fifteen students, so I said “Yalla – why not?” I got through the first week of school smoothly. The class is so fun – it goes by so fast everyday!

I had everyone buy a copy of “Dumbek Fever” as the textbook for the class!

The first quiz is gonna be the Time Exercise next week. Everyone will have to do the Time Exercise up to four and then go back down to one next Thursday, and I will grade them on it. Hee hee.

It’s gonna take me a while to get used to them calling me “Ya Doktor”! Every time they call me that I look behind me to see who they’re talking to!

Guess what? In the University in Egypt the janitor will make you coffee! Yesterday I was so tired when I got to class, so I got the janitor and said, “Mahmood – would you please make me a double coffee?” and he brought it to me in the class! Sweet!

Dear Raquy

I am so glad you are back in Egypt. I love reading your blogs.
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