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Belly dancing at the King tut Exhibit

By Soraya

On Saturday, February 3, 2007, I performed in one of the most amazing events of my belly dance career. It took place at the famous Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. I opened the milestone exhibit of "King Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of the Pharaohs."

I was hired to belly dance at the official grand opening black tie Gala. I performed for over 1,000 Egyptian and American dignitaries as national and International press swarmed the scene and television networks filmed every aspect of the event.

The other entertainment of the evening were men dressed as Pharaohs and there was a live camel greeting the guests! I prepared extra special Egyptian choreographies as well as musical selections for the evening. I could not have had a better time.

The Egyptian Ambassador to the United Nations, along with Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, the governor, among many other VIP's from all over the US and the globe were there.

"King Tut Mania" has spread over the entire Philadelphia and tri-state area. It is everywhere you look. The Four Seasons Hotel (a personal favorite) and other area restaurants/hotels are offering beautiful and delicious culinary treats of Egyptian and King Tut inspired food selections and cocktails.

For one of my performances, I had a large television crew following me around with their lights, cameras and microphones. I was told I was being filmed as part of a National Geographic documentary! It will appear on an International special about "King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibit. I was also taped for Egyptian television as there were numerous film crews, reporters, and press photographers from not only Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware and New York, but also Cairo, Egypt, Beirut, Lebanon and from all around the Middle East and Europe who were present as well.

Within the exhibit itself, there is not only a child-sized throne made of wood, gesso, gold, ivory, and copper alloy but also artifacts from the five other Pharaohs tombs, which ruled during the "Golden Age". Close to 130 artifacts comprise "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs". Fifty artifacts excavated from the tomb of King Tutankhamen range from his Royal Diadem or his beautiful solid gold and bejeweled crown to the miniature confinettes that contained his mummified organs.

In addition to the artifacts from King Tut's tomb there are more than 70 pieces from tombs of other rulers that were also part of the "Golden Age". All of the antiquities within the exhibit date back more than 3,500 years. It is truly something to behold. This Philadelphia stop on the King Tut exhibit tour will be the only one in the Northeastern region and the last stop in the U.S. before it heads to London, England.

During my many different Egyptian performances throughout this fabulous evening, I could literally FEEL the history and I was so thrilled to have been part of this black tie ball. It means so much to me not only as an artist, entertainment agent and instructor but as a cultural Anthropologist. I am still reeling from all of the excitement...

May all of your wildest dreams come true for you too!

Much love and many shimmies,