I have been quite busy this week, so I apologize for the lateness in the review. The workshop was fantastic. It began similarly to the last shaabi one of his that I attended; he began with cultural information and song info. This time had an especially sweet addition: he handed out the song lyrics with line by line translation. Very nice and helpful. Part of Mohamed’s magic is that he is excellent at coming up with ways to explain his points with Egyptian culture. One of the reasons I decided to to go the workshop, even though money is tight and I had already experienced his teaching, is because I know he has so much to offer with knowledge and is very good with answering questions. Particularly with shaabi, understanding the lyrics and culture is important. I wish someone would have him lecture over a lunch or dinner. He’s also very charming to boot.

The shaabi choreography he taught was good and certainly different from the one last year in Chicago. I’m not sure which one I like better. He is a great choreographer, coming up with things that not only look good but also fit in with the lyrics. One of the things I remember from the choreography is that he did a thumbs up thing when the lyric was “Shobra is the best!” or something like that. Very cute things to emphasize the lyrics.

I respect so much that Mohamed wanted us to learn the choreography and was patient but worked us hard until the end. He had to stop only because another class was coming in. He enjoys teaching, and it’s nice to be around that, especially when you’re so physically tired. He gives more than his all when he teaches; most of us left wishing he were local, so he could teach in the Boston-area regularly. I believe Najmat mentioned that he’ll be back in the Boston-area in May of next year; I will certainly be there! Even if you have taken a shaabi workshop from him in the past, taking another one from him is well-worth your money. I learned new things, both culturally and dance-wise, from the last time.

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