Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Back in Egypt

Here I am back in Egypt! It’s really starting to feel like a second home!


This time we found an apartment right away. It took about 20 minutes! Our Boab from last year hooked us up and took us to this place in Moonira. It’s HUGE – our friends call it “The Palace”. It has sequinned gilded elephants all over the place and an amazing balcony overlooking a very unique old building. The bedroom has this awesome 70’s decor with furniture that looks like an old automobile! The neighborhood is wonderful. The entire street corner on both sides is an outdoor shisha café that makes great coffee and there is a sook (market) right around the corner with fresh produce.

The place is a fifteen minute walk to the University, which brings me to my next subject:

My University Class!

I can’t believe it's actually happening! I have about 12 students enrolled in the class. Most of them are Egyptian and there are two girls from the states on a semester abroad. Not all of them have drums yet, but conveniently there are little tables attached to the chairs, so the ones without drums are banging on the tables! There’s a great vibe in the class, everyone is enjoying it very much, and there are several that are showing signs of serious dumbek fever! I’m thinking of giving them a “Pop” quiz! Ha ha, get it? “Pop” quiz?

The biggest challenge for me with this class is the time. It meets four times a week at 9:30am!!!!! That means that I have to get up at 8:30am!!!!! I really don’t want this to cramp my nightlife in Cairo, so here’s what I’ve been doing:

Go to bed at 4am
Get up at 8:30am
Teach my class
Go back to bed at noon
Sleep until 3 or 4pm

It’s a little weird, but it’s working so far.

Free Class in Cairo!

Remember how I usually give a free class on Mondays in New York? Well I thought, why not in Cairo!

There are two guys here, one from Canada and one from Prague, who have basically dropped everything else in their lives in order to come to Egypt and study the dumbek. So they came over on Monday and we had a free class! And I will do it every Monday – I’m just looking for a bigger place to have it!

Fikry, Said and Halim El Dabah

So far I’ve seen these three. We went to Fikry’s folkloric orchestra rehearsal, and I got to jam with them a little and hang out with him. I’m going over to his house tomorrow for a lesson.
We got to hang out with Said a bit before a show he was having. He was better dressed than ever! It was great to see him and we’ll go over to his place later tonight.

Also my buddy, the 85 year old Egyptian composer Halim El Dabah who lives in Ohio was giving a lecture in the classroom next to mine after my class, so I surprised him and we jammed, him on the piano and me on the dumbek for the assembly.

Our First Show in Cairo

Last night it was the birthday of this guy Hisham who is a huge fan of my music, so his friend Nader organized a house concert in a beautiful apartment in downtown Cairo. It was weird for me to have all these people there that I’ve never met before who listen to my music all the time, and were actually requesting specific songs!

All in all, I’ve been seeing some incredible inspiring music shows, eating lots of tomatoes and artichokes, smoking shisha, practicing my Arabic and enjoying the sunshine. It’s good to be back.

Amazing so nice posting, I like it.
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