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AL QÃHIRA

Egyptian Days March 2023


Cairo Feb. 28 - We are on the move again: each time it is not a trip, but a move!

In Italy it is cold, in Egypt it is hot. We will tour multiple situations, each with what is needed. Clothing for the dance studio, for the stage, teaching materials, fabrics and more for Dance Therapy.

Technical equipment and ... my music! The musics that have accompanied me on my various paths; musics that have spanned centuries and several decades of my own.

The musics of a lifetime, with which I made hundreds of people dance wherever I went, along so many years.

Every journey, next to the excitement, gives me like a sense of anguish about who and what I leave behind, in the unknown of what I will find; I have my musics, I think, I know people when they dance. With my musics, I will be able to do everything! And this thought helps me, it is my anchor.

Arriving in Cairo, in the mega-neighborhood Shobra, the coexistence with the muezin (the call to prayer) begins again, no less than 5 times a day, with the aggravating factor that at this time the beginning of Ramadan is being prepared and it seems a really too religious atmosphere for me "atheist, materialist, Westerner."

In that house, set between 3 mosques and a church, it is not easy: I find that call extremely more invasive than two bells ringing 2 times a day for a few seconds! Sometimes on one side that assertive loud voice rages and on the other side the women of the house Ash listen to Christian prayers on TV! It feels like a movie where everyone seems lost in an uncontrollable mystical overflow!

The days of work flow between joy and fatigue: the joy is seeing how much people here still want to invest in the future; the fatigue is due to the large intensive workload, the long commutes, the sand in the nose, the feeling of being in a large space but compressed.

Another joy, professional and personal, is studying their dance and art and broadening my cultural and expressive horizon

For the first time I felt cool in Egypt (it was winter for them even though there was an average of 20 degrees), I even saw ten minutes of rain and the children and others were screaming happily and surprised!


One evening we go with friends to the other side of the neighborhood, which means at least 6 - 8 km away and about half an hour by car. So I find myself on a terrace overlooking the city, and it takes my breath away; looking at that boundless horizon of lights, buildings, cars that perennially meander through traffic, I realize what a megalopolis is: an immense force that attracts and repels at the same time.

Living in a megalopolis means arriving every day in the usual place, always discovering a new road and not being able to learn any of them, because everything can change overnight.

Living in a megalopolis means avoiding making appointments, so as not to have to move and feel exhausted at the mere idea of doing so. It means falling asleep in your own bed for hours, in broad daylight, with the noise of the street and the loud and continuous muezins, feeling that everything is rushing outside and being happy to stay where you are.


Living in a megalopolis means seeing a little boy sleeping alone at night leaning against a pillar of a futuristic road of bridges and sidings, and bursting into tears. It means not knowing how to cross a street with cars speeding by as if pedestrians didn't exist.

It means eating fresh country stuff, in the middle of the concrete; smelling familiar food with tomatoes and onions, like at my Livorno/Neapolitan grandmother's house, but being 4000 km away from home; it also means suddenly smelling the nauseating smell of old walls exuding all kinds of substances.


Living in a megalopolis means wanting silence more than anything else, feeling in a large, variegated human mass from the dawn of time, in a continuous, ferocious, unstoppable change, where the struggle for survival manifests itself in a violent and incredibly human.

In Cairo you can see women covered up to their eyes, but with an elegant burqa, the latest fashion; and you can see people in cafes talking, laughing and smoking hookah instead of being on their phones.


The time of Ramadan begins and one evening we find ourselves in a relaxed and silent Downtown: people celebrate with their families and the streets are incredibly empty!


In popular neighborhoods, festively decorated, as soon as fasting time ends there is food everywhere, biscuits, sweets, dried fruit and delicacies typical of this holiday and people pour into the street to get together and eat until morning.




Once again the face of Cairo lights up with the life of the people, their desire to celebrate, to hope. El Hamdellulah!!!


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