Raqs Sharki London July 2019

Eman Zaki costume especially made for me when I was there in February

19-21 July 2019

What a year this was turning out to be - first with Randa in Cairo in Feb, then with Randa again in June for the Festival, and now Randa (with Khaled Badawy, her tabla player), was coming to London for Raqs Sharki London!!! But sadly this was not to be. The Home Office delayed getting her visa finalised so she was unable to come. We were all very sad. It's typical of the bureaucracy that goes on within Government Departments.

Thankfully, Sarah Malik, the organiser, (with the help of Randa, as she was so disappointed she couldn't come), was able to bring Mohamed Shahin and Khaled Mahmoud in place of Randa, which although we were sad she wasn't coming, we were overjoyed with having Mohamed teach here for the first time in the UK and also Khaled who hadn't taught here for some time. Both are fabulous teachers and the weekend was a very successful Festival held here in London, the first one in many years.

Along with Mohamed and Khaled, we had Jalila, Asala Ibrahim, Nabila and Catherine Mancera all teach over the weekend. It was a great weekend full of dance, as well as performances with a live band and also a competition being held.

I performed with the live band to Taht iL Shibbak, a fun number and it was well received.

There was a souk in the main hall, with tempting bling and we're all looking forward to the next one in 2020 and hopefully Randa will be able to come over this time.

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