Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dina worries about belly dancing in Egypt

In an interview with The National newspaper in the UAE, Dina, Egypt's most famous belly dancer, says: “I see no hope or future for belly dancing in Egypt. ... Ten years ago we were so many. Each one had her own style and audience, whether first-class belly dancers, or second and third class. Now I look around and see nobody.”

The June 30 article also cites an incident in October 2006 when Dina was roundly blamed when "scores of young men chased women through downtown Cairo groping them and pulling off their clothes – even those wearing Islamic headscarves and face veils" -- after one of her performances.

The article, which can be found here, paints a grim picture for belly dancing in Egypt, reporting that 5,000 professional belly dancers were registered in the 1950s, but there are fewer than 100 today.

But Dina says she isn't about to stop, and sees herself as "the guardian of belly dancing."

“When I get old, and can’t dance anymore, I will train belly dancers," she says. "I just hope there will be ones to train.”

Photo credit: http://www.bellydancetours.com/

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