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The Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp
in Mendocino , California
August 17-24, 2003

The Gilded Serpent staff was only able to visit the camp on Thursday, one day of a weeklong marathon of Middle Eastern music and dance. The camp itself is held at the Mendocino Woodlands, located 4 hours north of San Francisco and 15 minutes inland of the quaint town of Mendocino. Joshkun Tamer, originally from Turkey, has been running the camp for over a decade and has brought quality teachers from all over the globe in to share with students from beginning to professional skill level. They do this not only through traditional instruction, but also through casual jam sessions, parties and spontaneous bursts of dance and song occurring during all hours throughout the gorgeous wooded setting. Many camp participants stay in the 4 person cabins at the Woodlands site. Others, may choose to go more rustic and find a spot to pitch a tent in busy “Yurt Square” (see photos.) There are also more secluded spots along the dry creek bed. Several buildings provide camp participants with toilettes and showers. Camp life centers on classes, concerts, cabaret shows and small parties. These go almost 24 hours a day. The kitchen, staffed partly by student campers, serves up meals three times a day and some snacks in the wee hours for hungry all night revelers. Every year the camp has a unique flavor due to the teachers, the students and the delightful musical mixing of so many cultures.
Thanks to Jawahare, David Ludwig, Najia, Salah, Janine.

and to Masouma, Maria, Kylie for more help with names!

Please let us know the names of any faces that you recognize! Thanks!

A yurt door and interior

The Fearless Leader!
Joshkin Tamer is the organizer and producer.
Josh's office is a trailer that he backs up to a picnic table.
Whether it's helping a mixed up camper or helping clean up dishes, Josh is there!

Pat from Santa Cruz

The Classes

The drum class was taught in the amphitheater below the "mess hall" by Polly Ferber, from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Haig Manoukian's Oud Class
The ensemble class was taught by Elias Lammam. Betsy is playing the saxophone.
Yair Dalal taught Bedouin songs.


Mehrdad teaching daf under the trees.


Maryam pleases her mentor,
Necati Çelik

Turkish Maqum class taught by Joshkin's brother, Ergun Tamer from Los Angeles

Salah is proud of his wife, Maryam's, blisters of dedication!
John Lennon on Let it Be:"I've got blisters on my fingers!"

Dance classes were held in the Dance Hall.
Classes were taught by Helene, Hassan, Suzan
Tebelik, Amel, Neil, Robyn Friend, Sahra Kent, and Ansuya
Teacher Hassan poses with his students,
Carrie and Karen Barbee-Adkisson
Dabke dance class
with Hassan Harfouche, from Malibu, California

The Turkish Night Concert

On stage were:
unknown Turk, Faruk, Necati, Halil, unknown Turk, Dror, and Salah Takesh (not shown)

Who is this handsome drummer?
(one of the Erdemsel brothers, as is the
"unknown Turk" to left- Janine)

Men's Turkish folk dance from the Black Sea area. Per Maouma, "The three guys doing the Turkish dance are Vedat (wearing the black t-shirt--he's also in the other dancin pic). Neil (Robyn Friend's husband) in the
grey shirt, and I'm pretty sure that it's Ergun's Tamer's back to the camera. I think that it's Halil sitting on stage playing the tabla balady (the large
drum), while Faruk is standing playing some sort of wind instrument.

Fashion show participants
Linda Harmon, Aziz,
Suzan Tebelik, David Ludwig

Suzan and Faruk Tebelik
The Food

Jim's son, Nishan, Jim Karagozian, Jim's wife, Rhonda, and others wait in line for their turn at the chow.

Flipping kefka burgers!
Malik, left and with Sallah Ali above.
Sallah Ali is a violinist from Iraq (formerly
with the Iraqi Symphony Orchestra)
[Thanks to his new wife, Helene Erickson!]

An after dinner chat.
Elias Lammam with cigarette, unknown woman, George Lammam talking with Lee Ali and Burent.

Angus is in the white shirt, a
drummer from Utah or Oregon

? dishing up his plate coached by ?
Many participants help work off their tuition in the kitchen and elsewhere.

Oud duet or lesson?,
Haig Manoukian & Claud (or is this Marc Cornelius, from Saltanah- two votes for Marc!)

Helene with dancing fingers, Ling Shin behind her, Robin Friend's husband, Neil Siegel, on bag pipe, Michael Beach, unknown tar player,and Robyn Friend in beret

Halil Karaduman plays kanoun duet with Ergun Tamer
Jammin' found in every corner

Necati Çelik & Jim's family visiting
Making Connections

Halil Karaduman
with cigarette, Jim Karagozian with kanoun, & Salah Takish, Burent behind the others

2 Ladies visit with Nancy & Sahra.

Salah Takesh, like many regulars, helps with the flow. Here the flow gets directed at each other, as Salah Takesh and Sean challenge each other to a water dual! Sean is from San Diego. His mother is a well known (but unknown to us- help!) dancer.

Is she happy with her purchase?
Pete Jacobs and Daune Greene from Saltanah
The Kids

Teen talk

Stick heaven,
Michel Harris (Lynette's son), Avi Sinai (Dror's son) , & Britt Beach (Michael 's son)

Sean demos a better use of a stick.
Where's the kid's class in Taktib?

lil' beauty

Friends found under every mushroom!
Sophia & friend

Michel, Salah, &
unidentified teen grooms Sophia
Michel's Portraits
Photo Journalist in Training, age 9

Fatma Goze

See you at camp next year!
If you know the names attached to these faces, let us know!

To see the earlier pictures posted see-
10-13-03 The Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino by Yasmela
There is nothing like immersing yourself in study and in the strange and unique culture of the Middle Eastern music and dance “scene”.

Mendocino Woodlands web site-
Joshkin's web site-

Soon to come-
More camp photos by David Ludwig
Report by Tahya on an East Coast ME music and dance camp.

Have a comment? Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

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11-6-03 Nour: A Biography by Ekaterina
This dance, having its own rules, was like the flight of a soul, especially for one who sees dance as art and not just personal exhibitionism.

11-6-03 Of Hamams and Bathing by Justine Merrill
The attendants giggle while dumping scalding hot water on the screaming, howling clients.

10-31-03 Workshop in Perth, Australia-Hossam & Serena Ramzy's International Tour August 8th - 12th, 2003 report by Ayesha
Hossam’s presentation requires the student to listen – and I mean LISTEN.

10-27-03 Dancing on Broadway in the ‘70s by Kalifa
One of my strangest experiences on Broadway involved getting a small part in Carol Doda’s movie...


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