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  1. #21
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Since I seem to be an untrustworthy source, I certainly would not take MY word for it for sure. Nor, I guess, any of the words of any of the people with whom I have discussed the dance for the last 25 years or so, because it is really their information and not mine that is in those two articles. The Confused article does give background in Khaliji if you know how to look for it. Movement, again, is only a part of the picture, just like in belly dance.
    I have a khaliji costume collection that is over the top. I have everything from underdresses to abayas from Saudi and the Gulf, to different face veils from several locations, to Hindi style thobes, to Nejdi style thobes, a Yemeni costume around here somewhere except I can't find the hat., etc, etc, etc. I am probably just lying about all that though, and making stuff up since I am not a trustworthy source.
    I said I would be unlikely to believe such an elaborate explanation (when a simple one makes just as much sense) unless I heard it from a few sources. You are only one source, and you quoted only one source of the story in your Khaleegy movement article. The other article is about Khaleegy costuming, with only a few notes on movement, and nothing about the movements being representational of anything at all.

    I'm sorry that you feel I've attacked you, when all I did was state my general state of skepticism.

  2. #22
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    I don't think that anyone said you were an untrustworthy source. for my part all I said was that there may well be different reasons between generatinos and individual dancers. if historically they used not to like to show of their stuff - doesn't mean that that is not the motivatino of dancers now.

    Dear Jen,
    When I said that above, I was referring to daSage's comments, not your's. I have been privileged to have as friends women from the Gulf and from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi women say that the original dance is from the Gulf and hence the name "Khaliji", which means form the Gulf. People from the Gulf sometimes refer to the dance as "Samri", which is the original, slow and sedate version. The dance originated by the sea and it is said among the Arabs that is was a dance that first happened among the pearl diving culture when diving was one of the main ways in which the Gulf peoples made their livings. The place is not all desert as many people believe, and in fact seaports abound on the Arab coasts.

    About the thobe, honestly, most people do not wear them. I promise that this is true, and in many cases, thobes have no embroidery at all, so how could the dance be about showing off the embroidery when most people do not wear the dresses and never have? Even in the 1980s, some 25 years ago, many thobes did not have embroidery. There are versions of the dance where women just take a scarf off and dance with it, and that is what is the more modern version. In some cases, they use nothing but their street clothes and they gather their skirt or shirt or pant leg in their hand and do the dance.
    This is VERY difficult for me because I really want you and others to understand that I am telling what the natives have told me. I am not making any of it up and I am not embroidering the facts, (no pun intended). Besides Hallah Moustafa, and Mouna Smith the only people I have ever learned the dance from are native Saudi and Gulf women and men. In Smith's case, I learned no movement, but only about the experience of living in the culture, which has just as much value as any movement I ever learned. Smith's Arab family said the same as what I had heard before I met her. She is an anthropologist and has no reason to lie. Her children are half Kuwaiti and she would be disrespecting their heritage as well as misleading people.
    Just because this information is new does not mean it is incorrect.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 10-10-2008 at 07:08 PM.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I said I would be unlikely to believe such an elaborate explanation (when a simple one makes just as much sense) unless I heard it from a few sources. You are only one source, and you quoted only one source of the story in your Khaleegy movement article. The other article is about Khaleegy costuming, with only a few notes on movement, and nothing about the movements being representational of anything at all.

    I'm sorry that you feel I've attacked you, when all I did was state my general state of skepticism.
    You pretty much made it clear that you found the information to be not from a trusted source. One can state one's general skepticism in nicer terms. How sweet that you find the information "amusing". I named many sources in both of those articles. Believe what you like. If you choose to disregard the information in those articles, in the long run it will be your loss because when I wrote them I may have quoted only one source so as not to be redundant, but the subject was researched many years before I quoted just the one. If you had paid attention, you would have noted that I have been researching the name "Thobe Neshel" for many years trying to find out what the name means. Only one person has ever given me an answer and I stated clearly that this was not enough of a resource to take as totally accurate. This SHOULD have given you a clue that I do not merely hear something from one source and consider it gospel.
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 10-10-2008 at 07:06 PM.

  4. #24
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    You pretty much made it clear that you found the information to be not from a trusted source. One can state one's general skepticism in nicer terms. How sweet that you find the information "amusing". I named many sources in both of those articles. Believe what you like. If you choose to disregard the information in those articles, in the long run it will be your loss because when I wrote them I may have quoted only one source so as not to be redundant, but the subject was researched many years before I quoted just the one. If you had paid attention, you would have noted that I have been researching the name "Thobe Neshel" for many years trying to find out what the name means. Only one person has ever given me an answer and I stated clearly that this was not enough of a resource to take as totally accurate. This SHOULD have given you a clue that I do not merely hear something from one source and consider it gospel.
    A'isha
    I'm sorry you are determined to be offended. I found the idea of a water-activity-themed dance amusing because it reminded me of the "Wipeout" dance (those movements persist in new, non-surfing related social dancing). Maybe I'm odd to imagine a similarity there, or find it amusing, but I don't feel the idea makes me "sweet".

    And I was talking specifically about the source for the movement symbolism, not the source for costuming, etc. So I don't know why you keep on bringing up your costume/clothing/Khaleegy article that doesn't talk about dance movement symbolism, when we are talking about dance symbolism here.

    And my response that "I don't necessarily buy that story" is the same sort of response I would give to anyone who presented an unlikely story. Did you know that the Arabs learned to do cane dance from dancers of the British Isles (ie, Morris dancers)? I doubted that story, too!

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I'm sorry you are determined to be offended. I found the idea of a water-activity-themed dance amusing because it reminded me of the "Wipeout" dance (those movements persist in new, non-surfing related social dancing). Maybe I'm odd to imagine a similarity there, or find it amusing, but I don't feel the idea makes me "sweet".

    And I was talking specifically about the source for the movement symbolism, not the source for costuming, etc. So I don't know why you keep on bringing up your costume/clothing/Khaleegy article that doesn't talk about dance movement symbolism, when we are talking about dance symbolism here.

    And my response that "I don't necessarily buy that story" is the same sort of response I would give to anyone who presented an unlikely story. Did you know that the Arabs learned to do cane dance from dancers of the British Isles (ie, Morris dancers)? I doubted that story, too!

    And I am sorry that you are determined to pretend that you were not being offensive. As I have said a million times about dance, it does not live in a vacuum. One article has just as much significance as the other in a well rounded view of the dance. It says something beyond the very obvious to those who are trying to see more than just their view of the world, about the people and the dance. My view of the dance is not "unlikely" since it is the word of people from the countries in question. It is them you doubt, not me,s since I learned it from them, as is made clear in the article. Your trying very hard not to think of it in terms of the history, culture, etc of the people of those regions seems far more unlikely to me. Read up on the pearl divers of the Gulf, and not just the act of pearl diving but the culture around it as well.... and then get back to me.
    BTW, do you find it "amusing " when Lydia Dubai, who lives in the Gulf tells you that the old ladies of the Gulf tell HER that the dance is connected to life around the sea, which is basically the same thing I said with less detail?? See her short but sweet post on page 1 of this thread. Is her story equally unlikely??
    You know, if you had just put your responses to my posts in a less abrasive and more responsive manner, I would not have felt the least bit offended, but when you start trying to belittle my knowledge by using such diminutive terms as "amusing" to describe my researches, and intimating that I am not a source to be trusted, then yes, I respond negatively as any intelligent person would. After a few years of this ridiculous stuff, I am beginning to understand why Morocco and Shareen have such short fuses sometimes....
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 10-10-2008 at 08:30 PM.

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samira bint Aya View Post
    Yasmine, this is really interesting..
    Last week I was at a workshop and I asked the teacher if I could dance for him, so he could correct my technique.

    After about 5 seconds he stopped me to correct me from showing the palms of my hands! He was Turkish though, so perhaps that’s where the difference lies…
    Cool!!! Aegela is also a teacher of mine via workshops and seminars. She specializes in egyptian style dance(after earning a lifetime work permit to tach and dance in Egypt)
    With that being said, your experience and mine speaks to different cultural sensibilties within the dance. IMO there's room for more than one interpretation.
    Yasmine

  7. #27
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    And I am sorry that you are determined to pretend that you were not being offensive. As I have said a million times about dance, it does not live in a vacuum. One article has just as much significance as the other in a well rounded view of the dance. It says something beyond the very obvious to those who are trying to see more than just their view of the world, about the people and the dance. My view of the dance is not "unlikely" since it is the word of people from the countries in question. It is them you doubt, not me,s since I learned it from them, as is made clear in the article. Your trying very hard not to think of it in terms of the history, culture, etc of the people of those regions seems far more unlikely to me. Read up on the pearl divers of the Gulf, and not just the act of pearl diving but the culture around it as well.... and then get back to me.
    BTW, do you find it "amusing " when Lydia Dubai, who lives in the Gulf tells you that the old ladies of the Gulf tell HER that the dance is connected to life around the sea, which is basically the same thing I said with less detail?? See her short but sweet post on page 1 of this thread. Is her story equally unlikely??
    You know, if you had just put your responses to my posts in a less abrasive and more responsive manner, I would not have felt the least bit offended, but when you start trying to belittle my knowledge by using such diminutive terms as "amusing" to describe my researches, and intimating that I am not a source to be trusted, then yes, I respond negatively as any intelligent person would. After a few years of this ridiculous stuff, I am beginning to understand why Morocco and Shareen have such short fuses sometimes....
    Lydia was source #2 with different "original sources" than yours...so your experiences corroborates hers, and vice versa. The combination of both of your research makes the seemingly unlikely origination story more believable to me. And did you notice that I put a laughing icon in my (unedited) reply to Lydia? I thought it was amusing because now Khaleegy reminds me of the "Wipeout" dance! And I STILL am amused by the comparison, even if you aren't.

    And I am not thinking of Khaleegy in a vacuum, I'm thinking of it as a parallel to my culture now - as a dance that changes as time and distance affect it, just as our dances do.

    "One article has just as much significance as the other in a well rounded view of the dance."
    Is this really what you mean to say? That I should consider other people's articles to have just as much significance as yours? I'm surprised - it seems to me that you discount everyone else's articles and opinions unless they agree with yours.

    I don't think it's necessary for me to read up on pearl divers and the surrounding culture, before I ask for sources and corroboration of the explanation of movements in a dance.

    All I was doing was seeking opinions with just as much significance as yours...

  8. #28
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post

    "One article has just as much significance as the other in a well rounded view of the dance."
    Is this really what you mean to say? That I should consider other people's articles to have just as much significance as yours? I'm surprised - it seems to me that you discount everyone else's articles and opinions unless they agree with yours.
    That is exactly what I meant to say. If you read that correctly instead of putting your own spin on it, it would be clear that I was talking about the two articles I wrote and that you had previously commented on one not being significant to the conversation. You choose to see me through your own little narrow view, go for that, then.

    I don't think it's necessary for me to read up on pearl divers and the surrounding culture, before I ask for sources and corroboration of the explanation of movements in a dance.
    But, it MIGHT expand your horizons in this case, since you find it so very unbelievable that the dance could possibly be tied to life with the sea. Oh..... I forgot for a moment.... it's only when I bring that information to the table that it is somehow in doubt. Ir suddenly becomes MUCH more believable if Lydia says it. And the point is not even that. It's the way in which you broach your questions about my sources, etc. Rather than just coming out nicely and saying something like, "A'isha, could you tell me more about why you say that the dance is related to living with the sea?", you get snarky.

    All I was doing was seeking opinions with just as much significance as yours...
    Oh, please, you gave my opinions no significance at all, and chose to see them as "unlikely" and "amusing", that is until I just pointed out to you that Lydia has said the same thing. THAT somehow makes a world of difference.
    Anyway, believe it or close your eyes. If you have a legitimate, honest and respectful comment or question as to my resources or trains of thought I will be happy to respond, otherwise, I am done with you here.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    >>>AA:"One article has just as much significance as the other in a well rounded view of the dance."

    >>DS: Is this really what you mean to say? That I should consider other people's articles to have just as much significance as yours? I'm surprised - it seems to me that you discount everyone else's articles and opinions unless they agree with yours.

    >AA: That is exactly what I meant to say. If you read that correctly instead of putting your own spin on it, it would be clear that I was talking about the two articles I wrote and that you had previously commented on one not being significant to the conversation. You choose to see me through your own little narrow view, go for that, then.

    I actually see what you meant to say now. That's what I get for reading and typing quickly! I still say the "Confused" article did not address the particular point I was questioning. It seemed like you brought it up only because Cassandra had quoted it, and I thought that was weird.

    >>DS:I don't think it's necessary for me to read up on pearl divers and the surrounding culture, before I ask for sources and corroboration of the explanation of movements in a dance.

    >AA:But, it MIGHT expand your horizons in this case, since you find it so very unbelievable that the dance could possibly be tied to life with the sea. Oh..... I forgot for a moment.... it's only when I bring that information to the table that it is somehow in doubt. Ir suddenly becomes MUCH more believable if Lydia says it. And the point is not even that. It's the way in which you broach your questions about my sources, etc. Rather than just coming out nicely and saying something like, "A'isha, could you tell me more about why you say that the dance is related to living with the sea?", you get snarky.


    I didn't ask you to expand my horizons. You weren't even a participant in the conversation yet when I said that I doubted the story. And if you go back and look at my response, you'll notice I also asked the then-current conversation participants if it was A'isha who told the story - because the story seemed possibly inaccurate to me, and so I was surprised that you would be associated with it. I didn't address you at all. Go back and look.


    >>DS:All I was doing was seeking opinions with just as much significance as yours...

    >AA:Oh, please, you gave my opinions no significance at all, and chose to see them as "unlikely" and "amusing", that is until I just pointed out to you that Lydia has said the same thing. THAT somehow makes a world of difference.
    Anyway, believe it or close your eyes. If you have a legitimate, honest and respectful comment or question as to my resources or trains of thought I will be happy to respond, otherwise, I am done with you here.


    I responded to Lydia before you pointed out that she had heard similar accounts to yours. The pace of the responses was pretty quick for a while there (and I am not constantly on this board), and I could not respond to everyone as quickly as they posted. And my response to Lydia was amused as well. Strangely, she doesn't seem to be nearly as offended as you are. I don't think she's offended at all.

    LYDIA! Are you offended? If so, please speak up to tell me so, and then I will apologize to both you and A'isha!

    I had issues with the story, not the source. Should I have accepted the story on the basis that someone else said you had said it, and not have looked for further information at all? Sorry, my eyes are wider open than that!

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    WOW So many replies already! I'm sorry for not coming back to this earlier.

    I think I will try to mention the "other origin of the movements" I've heard of after class to my teacher if she mentions Khaleegy again. Not as way of correcting her, but more like sharing information. I've been dancing with her for 3 years now and I don't think she would be offended by it. Thanks for helping me out with this.

    Lydia and A'isha, thank you so much for confirming again what I've read here before. I started to doubt myself already if I had understood it correctly earlier!

    DaSage, maybe if I had expressed it as "representing daily life near the sea" instead of saying "mimicking water plants" it would have sounded less strange, lol.
    If you imagine that there are Berber dances in Morocco that have movements in it that represent women making couscous and roma havasi dances in Turkey that represent women doing all kinds of household stuff (washing clothes, cooking) and dances in a lot of cultures that mimick men fighting, it is less strange that dances of people living near the sea represent what life at sea was like in the old days.

    When I first heard this, I also thought it was amusing, but more because of the idea that so many people in the West assume it's all about looks and wealth while it's actually showing actions of daily life! So much less superficial!

    A'isha I started to wonder this now: How is khaleegy danced by men? I though pearl diving was done by men. Was it also done by women? Is the concept of sea seen as something feminine and is that why the women are tossing their hair to mimick motion of waves and water plants?

    It's also an interesting thought that maybe nowadays the movements started to mean something else and young people are even forgetting what it used to be about?
    Kind of like how we have certain kids songs of which kids and even many adults have no idea of the actual original meaning.

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