Sunday, March 16, 2008


Signs that I’ve been in Egypt for Quite a While

On the rare occasions that I see other foreigners walking down the street I have to resist the urge to yell “You are welcome in Egypt!”

Instead of using an alarm clock I just rely on the noon call to prayer to wake me up in time for my class

I call people at 3am for no good reason.

I’m losing my "P” – even in English I’m saying things like “we can’t find a barking spot” or “I hope a lot of beoble come to my show”

I can’t walk down my street without all the vegetable vendors in the market yelling to me about artichokes (by now they all know that is my favorite vegetable)

Because I’m so covered up in public I can go for weeks without shaving or brushing my hair! I’m really starting to look like a cavewoman!

On a street that is racing with speeding traffic, I calmly strut across, knowing that Allah will divert the cars from my path.

Finally Some Fame!

By the end of last year I couldn’t walk down the street without somebody recognizing me from Television. At my favorite restaurant, The Blue Nile, I got celebrity treatment because the servers had seen me on TV. People were asking for my autograph and to have pictures taken with me wherever I went.

When I arrived this year, I was suddenly just another person! Nobody seemed to recognize me. When I walked into the Blue Nile expecting my celebrity treatment, I found that there was a group of new servers who hadn’t the foggiest idea who I was! In fact we almost got thrown out because what we ordered didn’t meet a certain minimum!

Finally last week I made some appearances on TV. I was on Good Morning Egypt for the third year in a row and immediately after we left the studio people recognized us, and ever since at least two people stop me on my walk to school to tell me that they saw me on TV. Wait till we go to the Blue Nile now!

Escape to Desert Paradise

I can’t be in Cairo for more than a month without a little vacation in the Sinai Desert.This year we decided to check out the scene at Ras Ha Satan which is a remote resort on the red sea where many great musicians from Israel and from Egypt hang out and play music together.

I got a group together including one of my students from school, Hassan, Baraka who came to visit from Greece, and two Swedish guys – Fred who is studying drumming here and Johannas who is studying Arabic.The bus picked us up at our house and took us straight to Ras Ha Satan. We arrived just in time for sunrise over the mountains of Saudi Arabia! Stunning!

The place is run by an interesting couple – Ayash who is beduin and Segal, an Israeli woman. They have two adorable little boys. The young one is named Samai!
The accommodations are simple but quite comfortable. Each person gets a bungalow. Our bungalow had an indoor room with a nice hard bed, and two outdoor areas with carpets – one like a porch right in front and one like a garage on the side. And all this is RIGHT on the beach – about ten footsteps away from the Red Sea!

There is one big communal bathroom that is impressively clean all the time with hot water. There is hardly any electricity in the entire place, but at night they light bonfires and candles all around.

There were so many good musicians there! I met oud players, guitar players, other drummers, Beduin singers one amazing woman who sang Finnish folk songs and more.
The days were spend jamming, swimming, napping eating and talking to people. Every night we jammed around the big fire. My glow poi were a big hit – I got a lot of practice in!

And the food was excellent. There is one dish that I highly recommend to vegetarians called Vegetable Matluba which is rice, tomatoes, peas, corgettes and eggplant all baked together and served in this huge pile with salad and tehina. But careful – it may take five hours from when you order it until when it arrives, so you have to plan in advance!

We had to hurry back to Cairo for another television appearance – this time on the Nile Variety Show. I thought that we would all get to play but it turns out they didn’t have enough room on the set for everyone, so it was just me and Rami. But what an appearance we made – we came straight from the beach and a seven hour bus ride. My hair looked like birds may be living inside it, we were covered in sand and smelly (but I guess smell doesn’t matter for TV). I asked to go to the makeup department but there was no time. I’m afraid to see what I looked like.

Tonight I have a meeting with Gwaret El Fan the company that makes my drums. They have this new design they want me to check out with copper on the bottom.

Tomorrow is the last official rehearsal before the dress rehearsal!

i went to your concert yesterday in the AUC and you and the guys were really awesome, keep it up girl and thanks for the great music :)

hope to enjoy your time in egypt, i wish you were here always to let you teach me!
"You are welcome in Egypt! What's your name???"

Oh, I miss you guys already! Thanks so much for the spectacular hospitality. Let me know if you ever use that artichoke recipie...

How are those felines???

it sounds like so much fun! im working on the vegan bus for the 2009 tour! miss you guys.
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