Habibi You Are My WHAT??!! @DesertDance, San Jose, CA


New member
The 2008 Desert Dance Festival takes place in Santa Clara, CA, on
Saturday and Sunday, September 13th and 14th. Two days of continuous
dancing on the big stage, vending, master workshops and mini-workshops.

My mini-workshop, Sunday 2-3pm, is entitled "Habibi, you are my WHAT?! Learn the Arabic words and phrases you need to keep you out of trouble on the
dance floor". It'll be fun and informative, including some gestures
and body language used by Egyptians to portray these words and phrases.
See the website at Desert Dance Festival for details on all of the workshops.

Master Workshops on both Saturday and Sunday:
~ Amy Sigil
~ Ava Fleming
~ Shareen el Safy
~ Zaina Hart

And mini-workshops on Saturday and Sunday:
~ Armando "Uncle Mafufo"
~ Leyla Lanty
~ Mary Ellen Donald


New member
Sigh. Trinidad is too darned far from EVERYTHING.
but we can learn arabic.
UWI has courses at the centre for language learning, and I know a couple of people who teach privately.

maybe people conducting workshops could consider video conferencing?


New member
yeah, my schedule and car-less-ness won't work for uwi but i've been trying to find someone willing to do private instruction and yes even if that means that i'll have to learn to read the Koran as part of it. Do share your resources.

I think that the video conferencing is a GREAT idea and i would definitely pay for such a service. Leyla, do consider it for the future!


New member
What a great idea, I hope it goes well for you!
Thanks for your good wishes, Eshta and everyone else. I'm putting the finishing touches on the handout tonight. Hmmm, Mya, I've never thought about video conferencing or even how to do it. It sounds like a good idea for doing "remote" workshops. The business and scientific worlds already have conferences and workshops that way, so why not us? Definitely something to consider.

Kayshier, if you were asking me about resources, my first answer is "Google is your friend." :) Search on Arabic Song Translations. Most online dictionaries have a big drawback - you put the English word in and the Arabic word comes back in Arabic script so you have to know how to read that.

Otherwise, I've learned what I will be teaching this weekend over many years by studying Egyptian dialect and Arabic songs with an Egyptian woman teaching a small number of us dancers in her house, Modern Standard Arabic at Stanford while employed there, and spending a lot of time in Egypt and around Arabs in the U.S., learning the gestures they use with various words. I've also had private lessons with Raqia Hassan and classes with other Egyptian teachers who often include gestures and body language that go with song phrases. My biggest problem is having too much material to teach in a mini-workshop of one hour!! It's been hard to pare it down and it's still too big!!
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