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The Gilded Serpent presents...

Zaina

Finland and Beyond!

Book Cover by Leela Coleman
Artwork by Leela Corman

Zaina began her bellydance career in her native Finland. She relocated to New York City in 2003 in pursuit of a professional dance career. After several years in NYC she traveled to the Middle East in 2007. She has worked in Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Mali, Morocco, and India. Upon returning to the US in 2011 she lived and danced in Las Vegas for six months. Zaina is the author of "Stories of a Traveling Bellydancer", available on Amazon, in which she recounts her experiences of bellydancing and traveling overseas. She is currently sharing her time between the US and the Middle East.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by Zaina

  • A Journey to the West Bank, A Lone Dancer Visits Palestine
    The refugee children were dressed in sweatpants and T-shirts, like school kids anywhere in the world. The coach was in a tracksuit, and his stern voice echoed over the young crowd. It could easily have been a basketball game, or perhaps a rehearsal for a play, that was about to begin in this gymnastics hall. But this was a dance rehearsal
  • Touching the Clouds: Impossible Bridge in Yemen
    I needed a place where I felt safe, had some friends, and knew my way around: a place like Yemen! Besides, there was a bridge there that I wanted to check out.
  • What Lies Beneath, Part 1, The Morocco & Western Sahara Tourists Don’t See
    When you say you are going to travel around in Morocco, usually, the response you get can be summarized with one word: "Marrakech". Sure, Marrakech might be the "best of Morocco", but it also wasn’t going anywhere.Some other places, however, may not always remain as accessible, and I had a few questions on my mind.
  • What Lies Beneath Part 2, The Morocco Tourists Don't See, Suspicion, Lifestyle, Wedding, & Rescue
    What’s depressing about Laayoune is the idea of it: what it represents, not the city itself. Buildings, painted in salmon color like Marrakech, palm trees planted in pretty town squares, clean streets, restaurants and cafes, busy market places and a gorgeous plaza where people stroll at night. If you didn’t know any better, you would love this place! In reality, you are inside an enormous military base, while the city is a mere facade.
  • Changes in the Island Kingdom, The Bahrain Bellydance Scene
    Returning to Bahrain to work after four years felt like going back to my roots. This little island kingdom is where I did my first Middle East contract, busted my bra on New Year’s Eve, and returned several times in the following year. Those were the days. Now it had been a while. Had Bahrain changed? You betcha.