Egypt in all her glory was just a name, “Cleopatra” and my expectations of what would befall me when I traveled there years ago was unrealistic Hollywood glitz and romantic ideas. I think there is a part of every woman who sees a little bit of Cleopatra within her. When we actually go to Egypt, our sense of the feminine archetypes goes off the deep end. I really thought I would meet my Julius Caesar or Marc Antony, not because either one would be there but because Egypt captivates the mind sending it into delusional expectations. Read more

Climbing the Queens Pyramid and Missing Time

Climbing the Queens Pyramid - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

When I traveled to Egypt in 1991 it was definitely a calling from the Heavens. It never occurred to me that I was really going for dance; I was going because the temples, alters, and sacred burial grounds were my calling. My first walk off the plane and down multiple steps was not exactly my finest moment. The obvious dancer in me missed the first step and I went tumbling down a flight of stairs and landed on my suitcases. A dance friend that went with me started to yell my name and burst out laughing. Out of nowhere a myriad of people appeared to help me untangle my arms from my legs. I made an entrance I never planned on making and from that moment on the excitement and unexpected twists and turns never stopped.

I’ll tell you all a little secret that I have kept for a long time…..maybe I’m doing this out of guilt but I figure at this point I might as well let the cat out of the bag. I met wonderful people in Cairo and one friend in particular was a very adventurous fellow. We all called him Jimbo and true to form he was a great traveling companion. One night we were at a pub called Pub 13 in Maadi, a suburb on the outskirts of Cairo when he got this bright idea for us to go and climb one of the Queens pyramids. It was around 2:00am in the morning and by this point we had drunk quite a few beers, a brand called Stella. In my right state of mind I would have said no, but I was in a happy go lucky mood and just about every suggestion sounded good to me at that point. So with an Indiana Jones state of mind we took off in a cab with the full moon as our guide. Read more