Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday trip to Merry's and Shimmy Showcase

We headed down to Long Beach on Sunday afternoon to share in Merry's celebration of the New York Times bestseller THREE CUPS OF TEA, about author Greg Mortenson's efforts to build schools and reduce poverty in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shop owners Merry and Dallas hosted the three-hour party, which featured tribal belly dancing by the Om Sisters and male dancer Marked Khalil, along with dancing and live music by tribal troupe Oojahm. In addition to enjoying the live entertainment, guests were treated to belly dance lessons, nibbled on gingerbread camel cookies, sipped champagne, and made donations to Pennies for Peace, Mortenson's humanitarian foundation.

This was such a great event, and I can't wait until July 25, when Merry and I will be celebrating the release of my debut novel, THE BELLY DANCER, with another big belly dance party at her shop. I'll have more details on that very soon! (Here you can see Merry with me and my ever growing pregnant belly! And if it looks like I'm holding onto that new purse for dear life, it's because I was not going to set it down for one second -- even to take a picture -- because I didn't want anyone else to snatch it up. It's my new favorite thing...)
The THREE CUPS OF TEA celebration will continue at Merry's at 6 p.m. March 11, when Jamshed Rasul will speak on art and culture in Pakistan, and a silent auction will raise more proceeds for Pennies for Peace. If you're in the area, stop in and check it out!

And of course, since we were in the area, we stopped in at the Coffee Haven to see the Shimmy Showcase. My very good friend Katerina was dancing in true ATS fashion with Sooz and Alexiis, along with four of their students, to live music performed by the Ansuz ensemble, led by Fernan Cobian. The dancing was awesome and the live music was concert quality. It was such a terrific way to end an already terrific day.

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