Movement in Egypt: Soccer and Dance

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Last month Karen's post described Seacology's ten new island projects. Among these, Egypt represents a new geographic location for Seacology. Well-known for its ancient pyramids and rich cultural history, Egypt also boasts a successful soccer team and alluring belly dance.

Egypt Soccer.jpgAs with most non-American countries, Egypt's most-watched sport is football--soccer to us Americans. This month Egypt's soccer team, the Pharaohs, won its record sixth Africa Cup of Nations and its second consecutive title. A crowd of 35,500 and no doubt countless fans all over the continent tuned in to watch the dominant Pharaohs edge the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 1-0. Steve Vickers of BBC Sport notes that coach Hassan Shehata is only the second coach to win successive cups.

At left are Egypt's Mohammed Said and Cameroon's Gilles Binya.

Middle Eastern dance, more commonly referred to as belly dancing, incorporates movements of the hips, torso, and arms to communicate the dancer's emotions and reactions to the music.
As a young hula dancer in a company that also hosted Middle Eastern dance classes, I remember being backstage as the beautifully-clad dancers would congregate before their performance. I can recall their trilling voices and finger cymbals, or zills (pictured at right), exciting the audience as their torsos undulated in ways mine could not. Today belly dance may be better known as a new-age fitness regimen and Shakira's show-stopping shaking. But this historic dance can be traced to Mesopotamian depictions from 1000 BCE. This excellent Middle Eastern Dance website gives everything from history to physical movements, and care of zills to a call to preserve this ancient tradition.

Seacology will be installing mooring buoys in Wadi El Gemal National Park to protect coral reefs in the area. The reefs are among the most diverse in the Red Sea and are host to a great diversity of fish and marine invertebrates, in addition to mangroves and seagrass beds. Unchecked development and tourism has left the marine biodiversity in peril, and Seacology's mooring buoys will help reverse this damage.

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This page contains a single entry by Ellen Kamoe published on February 25, 2008 11:00 AM.

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