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Abdominal Freakish Delights: Aboard The Queen Mary!

Purple Emigrant

PAGE 1 of Photo Report from MECDA’s Cairo Caravan 2010, June 4-6, 2010

by Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan and Carl Sermon
posted August 2010

For us, nothing can top the array of activities at the MECDA’s* annual Cairo Caravan event aboard the Queen Mary ship moored in Long Beach harbor, June 4-6, 2010! This was a fun filled weekend that offers everything a dancer could dream of and more: over 600 beautiful performers non-stop on 3 stages, 3 floors of fabulous vendors, amazing musicians on 2 indoor stages and also an outdoor stage with drum circle and dancing, delicious Egyptian food, free lectures, films, and seminars with workshops for dance, drum, yoga, choreography, and Tribal Fusion.

Staying onboard the ship Queen Mary makes the event special and a unique and amazing experience As you walk the long curved and richly carpeted halls, you realize that you really are aboard a stately ship–named after a queen–a ship that once sailed the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the MECDA members (the lady wearing purple) stepped back in time and told me she recalled playing aboard the Queen Mary as a child when her family emigrated from England to America on the ship’s maiden voyage. The gorgeous Art Deco salons on board were the site of the workshops, making the gathering of dancers in ornate ship salons part of the experience, in addition to being conveniently located nearby the festival. After the daytime festival closed, an audience of 500 was treated to the Saturday evening showcase, featuring the workshop instructors and a troupe performance in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary–replete with gold and copper adorned mirrors and Art Deco columns and lighting–a showcase that was followed by a hafla with a live band!

[Ed note- Carl was stationed at the Thebes stage, one of three on the boat. MaShuqa roamed the boat getting miscellaneous pictures and a lot of exercise!]

*Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association

Drum Dance

Spontaneous drumming and dance at the outdoor stage on the top deck as you enter the festival

by MaShuqa

Teachers and Vendors

photos by MaShuqa

Cassandra teaches Khaleegy

Cassandra Shore does Khaleegy

Valentina's hoop class

Valentina‘s beginning hoop class


Queen Mary hallway


Liliana of Belly Dance Magazine with photog Lee Corkett

Aruba Sandals

Dhyanis vends

Dhyanis vends

Stellar Advantage

Vendor Stellar Advantage


another vendor

Hannan's Henna

Hannan‘s Henna


Mher of Hollywood Music

Dr Robin

Robin Johnson


Leela and ?

Tonya and Atlantis

Tonya and Atlantis


Little Mayor was a character that walked around the fest in character. Here he takes the Thebes stage for a quick pose.

photo by Carl


A casual portrait of an audience member at the Thebes stage

by Carl

Candy Apple Venor

"Candy Apple Vendor" does a spontaneous Bollywood dance at the end of the day on Sunday

by Carl

Gala Show on Saturday Night, showcasing the Teachers

photos by both Carl and MaShuqa

Amy Sigil and Unmata
Amy Sigil and Unmata
Amy Sigil and Unmata (Kari on right)

Cassandra Shore

Cassandra Shore

Elizabeth Strong

Elizabeth Strong

Leela and Company

Leela and Company

Jeremiah Soto

Jeremiah Soto

Mira BetzMira Betz

MIra Betz

Harry recieves an award

Harry Saroyan is presented a MECDA Lifetime Achievement Award by Samira, one of the founders of MECDA









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  1. AtlantaOxymagic

    Sep 5, 2014 - 07:09:41

    Very descriptive article, I loved that bit. Will there be a part

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