Singing for Syria and Gaza

We were gathered together in preparation for a fundraising concert that will also feature poetry in translation -- by Syrian poet in exile Adonis -- as well as the late great Mahmoud Darwish -- and a special performance by local Middle Eastern dancer Rahma Haddad.

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Let's Dance

Belly dancing has gone mainstream.

"Veteran Vancouver teacher Rahma (Gail) Haddad puts it this way: "Inside each of us is a sensual being and this dance gives everyone permission to reach inside and pull a little bit of that out and get in touch with that part of our being that is really not necessarily cool in day to day society.

"We're not allowed to take time and feel that bit of joy from moving the body and that bit of sensuality that is really an integral part of human beings," Haddad says."

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Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada

"Rahma Haddad, a second-generation Lebanese Canadian turned out an excellent workshop on dancing to chiftetelli rhythm."

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Concert Triumph!

2006 saw one of the best Festival concerts ever.

"Festival guest Rahma Haddad of Canada's Interpreting the Instruments workshop received high praise. The following year Rahma sent us one of her students - the beautiful Narmaya - for which we remain grateful (see 2007)."

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Dance is in Their Blood

A reluctant visitor to a multicultural arts show comes away with a new appreciation for how art entwines with ordinary life for ordinary people.

"Something like what I felt must have raced through the minds of the teenaged boys from farms located outside Edmonton, Alberta, when Rahma Haddad danced for them when she was a child. Like me, "they didn't know what was going on in front of their eyes." Haddad learned Arab dancing, and specifically bellydancing, from the other women in her family in Alberta, where again dancing was more than what I know it to be."

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