In the Summer of 2008, I had the pleasure of traveling to Egypt for three weeks. One week was devoted to study at the famous Ahlan Wa Sahlan dance festival
at the elegant Mena House Oberoi at the base of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Two weeks were spent touring this fabulous country with the friendly citizens of this impoverished country. It was the experience of a lifetime: riding camels at the Pyramids, touring the Egyptian Museum, the oldest Coptic church in the country, a mosque, shopping at the famous Khan al-Khalili market, visiting the Saqqara pyramids, touring an oriental rug factory and perfumerie, and shopping for
costumes. A joy was attending an upscale wedding where we mingled with some of Egypt's most famous dancers: Randa Kamel, Nagwa Fouad and Fifi Abdo. We also had dinner at the home of Magna and Atef of the famous Mahmoud Reda Dance Troupe.
A highlight was an SUV trek through the black and white desert, overnight camping amidst the monoliths of the white desert with the Bedouins. We shared a dinner with the Bedouins and an adventure to an Oasis.
There was a side trip to Alexandria to see the catacombs and the Roman ruins.
The most exciting part was celebrating a "big" birthday on a Nile River cruise where the chef brought out a special cake complete with drummers and singers. Visiting the Temples of Luxor, Karnak, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple (Hatshepsut's Temple) were breathtaking and the
Colossi of Memnan massive. My fond memory was dancing for German and American tourists on the cruise.
A part of my heart remains with Egypt.