Male Belly Dancing Makes Comeback in Egypt, Defying Suppression

Posted on January 3, 2008 

Male Belly Dancing Makes Comeback in Egypt, Defying Suppression

Jarid Mesbaah, male belly dancer, hopped on a car in Cairo’s Shobra district and strutted his stuff.

He clanged metal castanets, magically converted his hips into pistons and twirled his head around like a centrifuge. The crowd at tables lining a dirt alley clapped rhythmically. Young men in jeans jumped up to wiggle along.

Mesbaah was performing at the opening of the Old-Time Moon Cafe, a gig that — along with weddings, birthdays, night clubs and circumcisions — is typical for belly dancers. Untypical, at least in recent years, are performances by men.

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