Joana Saahirah´s World Blog

A Collection of Articles, Videos, and Freebies on Egyptian Dance, Self-Discovery & Empowerment

Random Pleasures that Feed my Soul

Images that speak more than words

A couple of pleasures that feed my soul

Consider it basic self-care. Rituals of self-preservation. Routines that nurture what is human in me


A creamy cappuccino, come rain or come shine.

Sprinkled with cinnamon or dark chocolate. 




Reading them, above all; smelling their pages; browsing bookshops; discovering new books; last but not least, writing books (I have two published; more on the way).




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My Mum´s Golden Self-Empowerment Rule

Self-Empowerment comes in all shapes and forms.


It can come from teachers, books, life events, tragedies and pleasant surprises; it can come from strangers and from the person next door. It can also come as a surprise, from where you least expect it.


I  grew up with a tough mum. Hard as nails, demanding, no-patting-on-the-back love style; doing the solo parenting job the same way Jesus held the cross - suffering, in plain sight; not making an effort to hide it.



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You have to die in order to live


I know it´s harsh but it´s true: you have to die - again and again - in order to live.

I am crazy. That´s a fact. But keep reading. 


I look forward, yet again, and I see the crossover.

It shows up like an Indiana Jones bridge - crumbling, dangerous, adventurous, uncertain in its ability to sustain me; not promising to get me, safely, to the other side. 

I´ve been here before - this moment of death and rebirth - but it always catches me...

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The Poetry of Egyptian Rhythms


There´s poetry in Egyptian Rhythms.

I´m aware that´s not how most dancers, and even musicians, see rhythms but that never changed the facts: rhythms aren´t just rhythms.


They´re Poems. 

Each Rhythm, a Poem.

Each Rhythm, a flavor, a story, a mood, and a feeling.

Each Rhythm, a cultural context with an entire world on its back.


Maksoum (click here to listen to it) tastes like honey. It´s a poem about a sweet, happy love affair.

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Give it to Yourself


Picture this (sorry in advance for the unpleasant image):

I have my period. 

I´m exhausted. Gloomy. Feeling like hell. And my inner demons crawl out from under my bed, like in a terror movie. 

On the mirror, I see a distorted reflection of a woman I used to know. I look at my swollen belly and aching breasts - I sigh; I turn around and observe my butt, my thighs, my back. For some reason I don´t care to scrutinize, I don´t like what I...

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An Intimate Portrait of Mahmoud Reda



We´re on the highway, between Cairo and Alexandria, and Abdel Wahab is playing on the radio.

There´s light - a light you only find in Egypt, attached to a scent of past and hope - peaking through my window in the backseat of the car. A soul-comforting light; one of the reasons why I lived and worked in Egypt for almost a decade of my life; a return home. 


  There's me, Mahmoud Reda, and his wife, in the car.  


I´m singing...

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The Souhair Zaki effect



Every dancer has a moment that has changed her, or his, life; the perspective they have on dance, music, themselves. 


Some times, those turning points are negative - I´ve heard terrible stories of dancers traumatized by teachers, colleagues, audiences, employers -; hopefully, and in many cases, those turning points are positive. Dance and life changing.


I´m privileged to have several of those moments, the ones Oprah would call "ah ah moments", in my...

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Do THIS today🧚


Do THIS today.

If nothing else, do it today. 

(Curious? Keep reading this post)


I can only share what I´ve become and, therefore, learned.


And here´s an interesting thing I´ve learned:

Not everyone wants to evolve.

All of us grow older - that´s mandatory - but few actually grow up - that´s optional. 



Take a second.

Yep, that one hurts. 


Saying no to growth - dance and/or personal growth - is...

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The Courage to be Disliked



A dear friend once told me, after a backlash from an old friend who´d turn her back on me for no apparent reason: 

-You´re inflammable, Joana. Your presence triggers people - not always in a good way.



I´d just decided to move to Egypt, leaving family, the beginning of a successful career already established, boyfriend, and everything that I knew behind. My then friend decided that was unacceptable.


-Who do you think you are? -...

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What I´m saying YES to, this Christmas



I´m sitting at a coffee shop - a cozy, warm, dim-lighted nook -, writing about my Christmas.

There´s a calm atmosphere in the air; a kid asks his mum for a brownie (mum says no, kid throws a tantrum); a geek reads the "Wuthering Heights" at the table next to me.

My man comes in my direction holding two cappuccinos in his hands - he´s smiling at me, trying not to spill the coffee; his face, tender. 




This is how I´d have...

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