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joined on 07/23/07
last updated 09/09/12
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My Recent Activity

Is there anyone who does tambourine skin replacements? ( community » musicians ) Is there anyone who knows how to replace tambourine skins? My tambourine... read more
listing posted Wed, December 10, 2008 - 6:28 PM
New Belly Dance Class @ Ashkenaz, ( events » community ) Belly Dance Class @ Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo, Berkeley

12:00- 1:30 Mon, Tues, Wed,

Dance: Expression, feeling , emotion

Alenna studied tribal style dance for several years, before moving on to Eygptian and cabaret. She also does a lot of... read more
event starts - $event.startTime
New Belly Dance class @ Ashkenaz ( community » other ) Belly dance class 12- 1:30 . Mon, Tues, Wed,

Beginning to all levels.... read more
listing posted Tue, September 2, 2008 - 2:18 PM
Looking for a Doumbek carrier/ bag ( miscellaneous » music reviews ) I am looking for a doumbek carrier bag. I have called several music sto... read more
listing posted Wed, August 27, 2008 - 5:19 PM
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My Recommendations

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Me on the Ney

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My Bio

about me
In the last six months have switched my focus to business and social media and am not on tribe so much.
I know that many a musician on tribe have said that they use recreational drugs. I have stated in past comments that I do not support this. Recently in the news there has been a " killer" drug that has popped up. Even the " legal" drugs such pot can now be laced with this new drug known as " bath salts". The effects are devastating. Another good reason to try to kick the habit. If you haven't heard of " bath salts" do a quick search on you-tube or your search engine of choice and you will find plenty of info on it.

I just bought two great C.Ds. They are a little different than what I normally listen to which is mostly pop Arabic music and occasionally some other music from other countries with similarities (at least to my ear) to Arabic music.
One C.D is under the label series Rough Guide to Afghanistan. It came with two C.Ds. One is Rough Guides' interpretation of Afghanistanian music. Its coherent theme throughout CD is happiness. I mean really happy. It seems unusual to me how happy it is compared to Arabic music which puts a lot of emphasis on sadness/pain etc. The second C.D in the two C.D pack is from an Afghan band “Ahmad Sham Sufi Qawwali “and demonstrates an array of emotion. The flute plays a strong role in this album, stronger than it does in most Arabic music. I couldn’t believe it. I don't know the name of the flute but it has a sound similar to the Ney. I am guessing it is a reed flute but if you know what kind it is you can certainly feel free to clue me in.
The other CD I bought is Anouska Shankar. Anoushka’s father is a famous musician as well. The cd “Rise” is from 2005. I would describe it as very good mood music. She has just one song with Tablas. . Anoushka is featured on the sitar and piano. She has made me love the sitar as never before. I have always liked Indian mood music and I was expecting it to be more poppy. I would say it is great mix between traditional Indian music and the more common Indian club-mood music you hear which although I am a fan, it can go either way. It can be good or not so interesting. This C.D is very interesting.

Does anyone know how resistant neys are to extreme weather? A little history on me. I have gone through three tambourines and a very short lived relationship with a violin. To my credit, I played at least one of those riqqs to death. I was steadily practicing the ney for a while during some road trips. I am now thinking that might not have been the best idea. Recently it has traveled through the snow and now since I am in colder temperatures; it sits in a very heated room. I think it is harder to play. I think neys are sensitive to climates. Does anyone know about this ? Also, I have been carrying it without a cover for several months. I am even considering using the dreaded almond oil. Though, almond oil is such a stronger, heavier oil than olive oil. People use almond oil on their skin. Olive oil is much lighter.

List of my all time favorite belly dancers, though I go through phases.
It is a list of dancers from around the world. If any of the countries are incorrect, please let me know.

Brand New Favorites
Shaina ( Buenes Aires, Argentina)
Rita Ferraz ( Brazil )
Azza Akdeb Aleik

Newer Favorites
Saidi ( US, She just had a baby! )
Sher Sanda ( Eastern European, I think )
Neena Nour ( Unsure, I think US )
Shahar ( US, Portland )
Suhair Zaki ( Arabic )

Older Favorites
Ambar ( Latin America )
Anaisis ( Italy or Portugal )
Maria Shazadi ( Mexico)
Elcin ( Arabic)
Didem Kinali ( Arabic)
Asena ( Turkish)
Meital Sassi ( Israel)
Samia Gamal ( Arabic)

Middle Eastern Dancer and Musician. I have studied and trained in a variety of performing arts including various dance, literature, theater and music. I have found dance to be one of the highest art forms, honest and spiritual. It of ten represents various rituals of life from ancient to modern times.

Dancing is not just fun and games. It can be dangerous. Any dance class you participate in will have a lot of spiritual meaning. Warning to the general public, take dancers seriously. They are often extremely intelligent.
I view dance as pure spirit. It is also immoral. Dance classes are a perfect way to relieve a conscience. Are there things in life or your mind that you would like to do, but can't, because they are illegal, immoral or may rest on your conscience forever. In dance you can. It is impossible to have a conscience and dance. Dancing is immoral.

My experience with tribal dance, theater instilled a great awareness of dancing with others that has helped me in more ways than I can count.

From an anthropological perspective, all female primates originally worked "cooperatively" together in groups. This may be the reason tribal belly dance takes on a "primal" feel.

"These cerebral talents are the result of many centuries of interaction between humans and their environment, and the continued existence of these talents must indicate they contribute in some way to our survival. In those cultures without reading and writing, the arts are the media through which that culture’s history, mores and values are transmitted to the younger generations and perpetuated. They also transmit more basic information necessary for the culture’s survival, such as how and what to hunt for food and how to defend the village from predators. Here, art becomes an important force behind group survival." Excerpted from the online website:

My original dance training was in tribal belly dance. This particular dance style differs from cabaret or what is commonly known as being a "soloist". Tribal style differs from "soloing" since it is a dance done in a group format, versus the "soloist" dancing alone. Tribal style is essentially a partner dance where you work very closely with women partners. Results of tribal belly dance are women working together cooperatively, by dancing in duets, trios and as a group. Tribal belly dance can help women with their career, business and lives. Much time and effort should be put into understanding its value and significance.

One important feature of tribal dance is being support for other dancers as part of “the chorus". In tribal dance you often work closely with other dancers. Being a "supporting dancer" is a majority of what you do in tribal belly dance. For the person who thrives in the spot light, being in the background as a dancer is something that could improve one's dance. Our roles in life are often supportive and involve other people, which is why tribal belly dance is incredibly helpful in many spheres outside of dance class. We do not "dance all alone" in life.

Having performed in every aspect of the performing arts, being able to express myself in the incredibly ancient art form of "raqs sharki" Middle Eastern Dance is the greatest pleasure. I love an audience. Performing helps me see if my attempts to "express myself" are successful.

Prior to my thirty first birthday, I had no little to no musical training. In the past four years I have learned to play the doumbeck, tambourine, and flute and have greatly improved my zill skills. They say I have a good ear. Originally, my aim with music was to improve my dance. And low and behold music became an incredible spiritual awakening. I am now surprised that more dancers do not take up an instrument at some point in their career. It has been my experience that playing an instrument is still perceived as a "male activity,” People are still somewhat surprised when I say "I'm a drummer". This perceived image of playing an instrument as activity exclusively for men steers women away from learning one. They want to maintain their image of femininity for men.

Femininity comes in a variety of forms. One can be feminine and express good rhythm on the drum or play a beautiful melody on the ancient ney flute. Learning to play music can only make one more appealing, not less. Music enhances everyone.

A Brief History of Ney

En Eski Ney is the oldest wind instrument ever known. It is told that there was a double pipe whistle which was taken to China by Şan-Kiyen in 1249 BC. In Turkistan, a similar instrument which is called “Koş-Ney” is still in use. It is supposed to be the oldest Turkish instrument.
Ney is a very ancient instrument that has been played continuously since 3000 BC.

Learning to play the ney actually is a very enjoyable way to spend time. Some say it is very hard. I say it is very powerful. Should you have a lot of energy and an extra lot of frustration, this is the perfect instrument for you. Another reason, women should play.

I learn at a lightning speed after studying the ney. There is some "theory" that music has that sort of effect on people. I found learning the drum helped me become more organized at the age of thirty four. The ney has had a profound effect on me. When I think back in memory, it is how I was before learning the ney, and after learning the ney. There is a dramatic difference in the before and after. The ney makes me feel time differently. Whereas the mostly Arabic percussive instruments I have learned, keep me moving forward. The ney makes me feel the time and place where I am playing , which is why you often see ney players in front of beautiful natural backgrounds, versus the natural forward feeling of the percussion. Playing the ney is a wonderful feeling. I think it helps with learning because it has been very healing for me to learn to play it and also because of its incredible "relaxing” effects. Though, I am in the same boat with everyone in that it is not the easiest instrument to learn. I believe my training in physical movement has helped me with learning or “taking on" the ney, as well as my study of acting, after all, it is known for improvisation. Those who have to improvise often, might also enjoy learning the ney.

Everything a person has or brings contributes to their art. I was watching a Beyoncé video where there was choreographed belly dancing, and though I am rather certain Beyoncé was not trained as a belly dancer, she learned in a short period of time to become one and so without training Beyonce, exquisitely danced raq's sharki. Something very few people could accomplish. It takes women years and years to learn how to express themselves in the complex and nuanced dance of the Middle East. No one could be disappointed by Beyonce’s belly dancing. I feel like when you dance, or maybe perform in general, all of your spirit and everything you are comes through. It’s not so much the dance as it is the person doing it. Watching Beyoncé belly dance, I can see all of her super star personality come through. She shines as a belly dancer. I am sure she would shine at anything in life she chose to do.
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My Blog

I am always thinking about the future of things to come. I thought this was a good example. Learn the darbuka via skype! I think it would be good if more teachers did this.!/motaz.shokry
Fri, September 23, 2011 - 5:07 PM permalink - 0 comments
Here is a song by the Lebaneese songstress Haifa Wehbe. This video shows a clip of the flute player in the background. The way he holds it to the side makes me think it is a kawala instead of a ney. There are many flutes I am unfamiliar with. If anyone knows or thinks they know what type of flute this may be. Share your knowlege and tell the world, or just tell me.

Here is another another great son... read more
Sat, July 31, 2010 - 3:25 PM permalink - 2 comments
I took lessons on the Kawala for about two months when I moved to another state. Before moving I ordered a Ney from Turkey. Is there a difference between playing the two flutes? I may be on my own trying to learn the Ney. I know the Ney has a hole on the bottom of the flute whereas the kawala does not.

Sun, August 30, 2009 - 12:28 PM permalink - 5 comments
I have been looking for a doumbek carrier in San Francisco and cant find one anywhere. Called several music stores. If anyone knows where to find one in the bay area or anyone who sells them around here that would be great. --Ann
Tue, August 26, 2008 - 4:54 PM permalink - 1 comment
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I'm Looking For...

Is there anyone who does tambourine skin replacements? ( community » musicians ) Is there anyone who knows how to replace tambourine skins? My tambourine... read more
listing posted Wed, December 10, 2008 - 6:28 PM
New Belly Dance class @ Ashkenaz ( community » other ) Belly dance class 12- 1:30 . Mon, Tues, Wed,

Beginning to all levels.... read more
listing posted Tue, September 2, 2008 - 2:18 PM
Looking for a Doumbek carrier/ bag ( miscellaneous » music reviews ) I am looking for a doumbek carrier bag. I have called several music sto... read more
listing posted Wed, August 27, 2008 - 5:19 PM
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My Requests

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