Gilded Serpent presents...
One of the many surprise pleasures I enjoyed during my month long 18th anniversary Rakassah trip to the San Francisco Bay area was the reunion with my friend, master Egyptian percussionist and recording artist Reda Darwish, at his new store Multikulti in the Mission area of San Francisco. Amina, of the Aswan Dancers, had given me the card for this new store after I exclaimed over her beautiful multi-tiered beaded scarf she had bought there.
Reda had a fine greeting for me when I arrived at Multikulti. "Ascel", he exclaimed as I walked in, his nickname for me meaning honey. "Enta zay ascel, zay sucre" (You are like honey, like sugar) I responded and confessed to him "Reda, that's why all the dancers wanted to be your girlfriend because you are so sweet, zay ascel"
Reda, like Susu Pampanin, is a dancer's favorite and has always been popular with dancers because he's a dancers' drummer. He's known for watching and following dancers and making them look good. A dedicated performer and organizer, Reda has produced recordings for Suhaila Salimpour and Horacio Cifuentes in addition to his own releases. Reda can be seen drumming in Mona Said's cane dance video. A native Egyptian, Reda decided to stay in the US when he toured here with an orchestra in 1984.
Multikulti is an unique multi-faceted gift, jewelry and home accessory store. Among some of the gift options at Multikulti are pan-African and Native American handicrafts as well as those from Morocco, Egypt and Indonesia. Many of the folklore articles there are rare and seldom seen here, such as a Peruvian ocarina, flutes, henna photography books, unusual decorated pillows, carrot body lotion, Khemetic clothes, and henna sconce lamps, among other quality items. Other instruments seen were Moroccan drums and Egyptian tablas. True to his culture as one would see at Cairo's famous bazaar, the Khan el-Khalili, Reda also offers scents in various forms such as candles, incense, French soaps etc.
Art collectors will appreciate the carvings, masks, ceramics, turquoise beetles and artwork from the Magreb. On the other hand, dancers will love the well priced imported paillette dresses and slippers, plus the beaded and coin accessories. I was very impressed that he also distributes the Putomayo Records collection of World Music. Reda has clearly done his homework in appealing to many ethnic tastes.
Multikulti is also the scene for such events as an upcoming Acoustic Trance Show. Reda hospitably invites the public to "Come Visit Us and See the World". The store is is located at 539 Valencia Street at 17th Street in San Francisco, CA 94110. Call him in advance for a mini-tour at (415) 437-1718.
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