Dabke 101 – Learn How To Dance Dabke #InternationalDanceDay

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Samir-BW-Dabke“To all people who want to learn Dabke, Have you ever wondered what may be holding you back from learning and being great at Dabke?  From being confident and joining in the fun at weddings and parties?  Are you ready to let loose and really enjoy yourself? Are you ready to learn Dabke that connects you with your culture, your friends and your family?  Are you ready to learn Dabke that will get you attention from a potential husband or wife? Maybe the attention of a group of guys or girls? If so, then you have come to the right place… My name is Samir Hasan, and with the help of my student Youssef,  I am here to help you!  Here is the thing…Training dozens of people to do Dabke and personally performing in hundreds of shows has given me a rare insight into how to perform and teach Dabke moves from many countries including Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and the Gulf.  I’m about to share with you some common errors along with my collection of Dabke moves I’ve called “Dabke101″ which I think are necessary for people to know if you are attending any Arab Wedding or Party.  LET ME TEACH YOU HOW TO DABKE!  On this very page you are reading at this very moment, I’m going to reveal to you the most efficient teaching methods for quickly learning Dabke while training in your own home at your own pace! WARNING: There are no pills or potions and this will take some hard work, so if you’re looking for a magic-fix then you’ve landed on the wrong site.  But if you are looking to have great fun, learn all sorts of Dabke steps, moves and routines from someone who has spent 15+ years in the industry then you’ve come to the right place. 

The Problem: Limited Time + Lack of Teachers

Let’s face it, like most other people you’ve looked around on the Internet, you’ve looked for clubs to join, you’ve looked for books and you might have even tried to YouTube it…There is nothing worth while out there.  If you’re lucky enough to find a teacher you have to make time to travel to their studio or pay lots of money for each session.  If you tried to form a group you deal with people not taking it seriously and missing classes.  If you’re really lucky and you find a group, they’re usually too advanced and you stand there with a puzzled look on your face trying to keep up!  Waste of time and STRESS! Let me ask you this… If you did find some videos on the Internet, who would you rather learn from?  An average guy who knows a few moves or a teacher who has done Dabke in front of International leaders and has taught countless numbers of people?! If you said “the teacher”, you’ve nailed it! Let’s say you got really lucky and you found a skilled Dabke dancer by chance.  If they don’t know how to teach you properly then you’ll both just waste your own time.  They also wont have any type of planned step by step structure that slowly teaches you and improves your Dabke skills even if you’ve never danced Dabke before…ever!

The Truth: There is Nowhere to Learn Dabke

The truth is that most of the great routines you find online and see at weddings take time and are taught personally from one person to another.  People don’t have tie time to learn or even teach these days especially if you’ve got a job, school or family to manage like the rest of us. Reality is your only chance to learn Dabke is a few hours every once in a while when you go to a wedding.  Here is what normally happens at weddings:  You get intimidated and go to the end of the line where people are doing the same old two step move.  You stay there and watch in awe as the guys at the front of the line jump around in laughter and fun.  You wish you were able to join in.  You should be at the front of the line! Imagine how proud your family and friends would be of you!  Imagine all the attention you will get from your friends and even the opposite sex!  Imagine the confidence! Imagine the fun…imagine!  Join me and turn your dream, your imagination into reality.

 

The Solution: Learning Directly From a Teacher on Your Own Time

Let me ask you another couple of questions…

  • Are you the go-to coach for Dabke in your City?
  • Have you trained dozens of dancers for shows all the way to dancing for the President of France?
  • Have you spent all of your spare time over the last 10+ years researching, attending workshops, dancing in shows and teaching people Dabke?

I have

And when you put that kind of dedication – that kind of passion – into developing and testing your moves, routines and teaching methods, you truly gain an incredible understanding of what is needed for people to learn Dabke and maybe more importantly, what must be left out, saving your time, energy and money.”

Middle East Defined

As noted by Rashid Khalidi, the term “Middle East” has become a source of contention and is seen as an unsatisfactory term to describe the region we now know as the Middle East and North Africa. Khalidi is correct in being sceptical of the term “Middle East,” as its definition is unclear. The World Bank uses the term “Middle East and North Africa” which encompasses the nations of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, as well as Yemen. The United Nations Statistics Division, however, refers to the countries of North Africa separately from the countries of “West Asia,” which includes the Gulf countries, the Levant, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. While the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Central Intelligence Agency, the UN Refugee Agency, as well as Human Rights Watch all have slightly different definitions of what countries encompass the Middle East or the Middle East and North Africa, the larger questions are: Why do these organizations feel the need to define this region and what is the need to define this region?   

Hasan Salaam, an Egyptian-American lyricist made a simple and important observation in some of his lyrics stating, “No such thing as the Middle East… No matter where you stand there’s always something to the east of you.” The definition of the “Middle East” and the terms that are used to describe North Africa, the Gulf, and West Asia have changed throughout history depending on which nations are the current superpowers. It seems that the European and American bodies that set th term “Middle East” into place, wanted to create Europe and North America as the centre of the world, in which everything must be in relation to these regions, and that the terms “Middle East” and “the West” are all relative.

The “West” has consistently defined the “East” in their own terms, in order to better define themselves and in order to mark “their” territory. When the “West” occupied the “Middle East,” it occupied the languages and the minds of the people in that region because, now, in Arabic the region is referred to as al-Sharq al-Awsat, or the Middle East. The “West” defined the borders of the “Middle East,” the same borders that the “Middle Eastern” countries fight to defend despite the end of colonialism. They have let the “West” define who is seen as friend and who is seen as foe. By doing this, the “Middle East” continues to be the pawns of the “West” and still unknowingly caters to the “West’s” notions of how the “Middle East” should be defined.   

What I Learned From Criminal Minds #bingewatching #criminalminds

So I recently finished up my binge watching of Criminal Minds. Yup, that’s right. I have watched every single episode to date of 11 seasons. And here is what I learned from it all:

  1. Don’t be mean to people because they could be a serial killer.
  2. Don’t think in the box. Always think outside the box
  3. Don’t get into a box willingly
  4. Don’t google anything you don’t want Penelope Garcia to see.
  5. There is no such thing as secrecy.
  6. Don’t go anywhere near a gun shop
  7. Don’t go on vacation alone
  8. Don’t go on vacation with your family
  9. Don’t get involved with the mob, mafia or any other organized crime
  10. Don’t join a cult
  11. Don’t go skydiving
  12. Don’t hide from CCTV
  13. Don’t take LSD
  14. Don’t leave your drinks unattended
  15. Don’t take a taxi
  16. Don’t breathe in toxic or poisoned air
  17. Don’t join a killing pack
  18. Don’t get in strange cars
  19. Don’t trust anyone
  20. Don’t get married
  21. Don’t read fairy tales to your kids
  22. Don’t hire a hitman
  23. Don’t use public transportation
  24. Don’t reject anyone
  25. Don’t be a street artist
  26. Don’t join an experimental community
  27. Don’t use a ride-share service
  28. Don’t get kidnapped
  29. Don’t end a relationship
  30. Don’t leave your children unattended
  31. Don’t go to war
  32. Don’t get PTSD
  33. Don’t make personal connections
  34. Don’t get shot
  35. Don’t seek revenge
  36. Don’t auction children off
  37. Don’t avoid dealing with personal issues
  38. Don’t make decisions that will mess up your career
  39. Don’t answer your cell phone
  40. Don’t avoid answering your cell phone
  41. Don’t go to pep rallies
  42. Don’t make abrupt departures
  43. Don’t read science fiction
  44. Don’t be a prostitute
  45. Don’t get involved in politics
  46. Don’t piss off your supervisor
  47. Don’t question things
  48. Don’t discount multiple personality disorders
  49. Don’t prank Morgan or Reid
  50. Don’t question Reid’s knowledge
  51. Don’t torture people
  52. Don’t drug people
  53. Don’t kill people
  54. Don’t have a troubled childhood
  55. Don’t struggle
  56. Don’t become addicted to drugs
  57. Don’t become an alcoholic
  58. Don’t become homeless
  59. Don’t rape people
  60. Don’t be a radical environmentalist
  61. Don’t go hunting
  62. Don’t go to parties
  63. Don’t go camping
  64. Don’t go into the mountains
  65. Don’t go into the woods
  66. Don’t use religion as an excuse
  67. Don’t go to a small college
  68. Don’t go to a big college
  69. Don’t walk alone at night
  70. Don’t walk alone in the day
  71. Don’t go to public places
  72. Don’t be a vigilante
  73. Don’t dream
  74. Don’t join a gang
  75. Don’t commit crimes
  76. Don’t witness a crime
  77. Don’t impede a federal investigation
  78. Don’t boost your public image
  79. Don’t post everything on social media
  80. Don’t be vain
  81. Don’t empathise with suspects
  82. Don’t travel as a couple
  83. Don’t stay in a cabin
  84. Don’t live in the middle of nowhere
  85. Don’t own guns
  86. Don’t antagonize others
  87. Don’t be a police officer
  88. Don’t be an FBI Agent
  89. Don’t be blonde
  90. Don’t get into car accidents
  91. Don’t get in the way of road rage
  92. Don’t belittle others
  93. Don’t kidnap people
  94. Don’t hire a psychic
  95. Don’t be an over enthusiastic criminology student
  96. Don’t investigate crimes on your own
  97. Don’t talk to high class call-girls
  98. Don’t set fire to others
  99. Don’t go on spring break
  100. Don’t confront others
  101. Don’t be a woman
  102. Don’t come in contact with anthrax
  103. Don’t feed people to pigs
  104. Don’t perform medical experiments
  105. Don’t have a breakdown
  106. Don’t go to a pharmacy
  107. Don’t go to a bank
  108. Don’t trust a judge
  109. Don’t impregnate women unwillingly
  110. Don’t sell babies
  111. Don’t have an alter ego
  112. Don’t be a psycho
  113. Don’t be a soul sucking journalist
  114. Don’t have your home invaded
  115. Don’t escape custody
  116. Don’t go on a killing spree
  117. Don’t yell at others
  118. Don’t play an online choking game
  119. Don’t be a trigger
  120. Don’t spiral out of control
  121. Don’t be a con artist
  122. Don’t sell drugs
  123. Don’t be part of a pyramid scheme
  124. Don’t be a pillar in the community
  125. Don’t be a trucker
  126. Don’t have daddy issues
  127. Don’t have mommy issues
  128. Don’t illegally cross the border
  129. Don’t legally cross the border
  130. Don’t post videos online
  131. Don’t talk to anyone online
  132. Don’t meet people online
  133. Don’t stick around during a heatwave
  134. Don’t be taken hostage
  135. Don’t be racist
  136. Don’t be sexist
  137. Don’t be an accomplice
  138. Don’t mysteriously vanish
  139. Don’t make deals with others
  140. Don’t go out on Halloween
  141. Don’t tell anyone anything about you or your life
  142. Don’t order takeout delivery from the same restaurant repeatedly
  143. Don’t let anyone into your house
  144. Don’t have headaches
  145. Don’t ignore doctor’s orders
  146. Don’t be unusual
  147. Don’t hire a self-motivational coach
  148. Don’t act suspicious
  149. Don’t target victims
  150. Don’t fake your own death
  151. Don’t die
  152. Don’t have a secret life
  153. Don’t become injured
  154. Don’t trust anyone, ever
  155. Don’t let human traffickers know you are a cop
  156. Don’t trust human traffickers
  157. Don’t bully others
  158. Don’t take credit for someone else’s work
  159. Don’t get a brain injury
  160. Don’t go to a lake
  161. Don’t send your kids to a military academy
  162. Don’t join the boxing scene
  163. Don’t join an underground fighting ring
  164. Don’t imitate the Zodiac killer
  165. Don’t romanticize killers
  166. Don’t snub old friends
  167. Don’t play the piano
  168. Don’t gamble
  169. Don’t be superstitious
  170. Don’t be too friendly
  171. Don’t fail
  172. Don’t wander the desert
  173. Don’t sleep
  174. Don’t stop at rest stops
  175. Don’t worship the devil
  176. Don’t purchase real estate
  177. Don’t be a real estate agent
  178. Don’t lie
  179. Don’t test others
  180. Don’t have a phone
  181. Don’t kill animals
  182. Don’t be a student
  183. Don’t meet face-to-face
  184. Don’t replicate crimes
  185. Don’t have an identity crisis
  186. Don’t fall in love
  187. Don’t be a pedophile
  188. Don’t be a nanny
  189. Don’t overdose on E
  190. Don’t go for a run
  191. Don’t do step aerobics in your house
  192. Don’t take away your kid’s dolls
  193. Don’t be an awful parent
  194. Don’t emulate movies
  195. Don’t become estranged from others
  196. Don’t get too close to others
  197. Don’t be violent
  198. Don’t believe in segregation
  199. Don’t be a bigot
  200. Don’t be a homophobe
  201. Don’t retire
  202. Don’t work
  203. Don’t become unemployed
  204. Don’t go on secret missions
  205. Don’t go to therapy
  206. Don’t avoid going to therapy
  207. Don’t hire a babysitter
  208. Don’t be a babysitter
  209. Don’t engage in family feuds
  210. Don’t obsess over Greek mythology
  211. Don’t get shot
  212. Don’t engage in crossfire
  213. Don’t steal
  214. Don’t suffer a family tragedy
  215. Don’t be delusional
  216. Don’t suffer from an obsessive skin disorder
  217. Don’t suppress feelings
  218. Don’t be a highly-regarded attorney
  219. Don’t have uncontrollable urges
  220. Don’t be a loner
  221. Don’t be anti-social
  222. Don’t be charismatic
  223. Don’t be confident
  224. Don’t be insecure
  225. Don’t commemorate anniversaries
  226. Don’t ignore anniversaries
  227. Don’t build a bomb
  228. Don’t abuse others
  229. Don’t talk to inmates
  230. Don’t ignore inmates
  231. Don’t make political enemies
  232. Don’t respond to others
  233. Don’t avoid responding to others
  234. Don’t uncover secrets
  235. Don’t control people’s minds
  236. Don’t believe in monsters
  237. Don’t be a teenager
  238. Don’t be a kid
  239. Don’t be an adult
  240. Don’t be in the wrong place at the right time
  241. Don’t leave the house
  242. Don’t stay at home
  243. Don’t think about anything
  244. Don’t even think about thinking about anything
  245. Just don’t

Really… Don’t! Everyone, everywhere is a serial killer, mass murderer, rapist or pedophile.

That’s what I learned.

 

Where would you want to retire to?

Where would you want to retire to?

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Two words: New Zealand

I’m going to get myself a tiny farm with a cute cottage. Get myself a bunch of sheep, donkeys and other friendly animals.

I’m going to learn some Maori and make nice, retired friends and live a carefree retired, Kiwi life.

I’m going to watch Kiwi soaps, go swimming in pretty lakes and leave the world behind.

 

Must Have #Spring #Accessories #fashionpost #shopspring

Hello Pistachios!

Springtime is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you’re super excited for the nice weather, bright colors and pretty clothes. Already the weather is starting to get warmer and brighter. I’ve started pulling out the springtime dresses and getting my spring cleaning done- AND IT FEELS GREAT! I don’t know about you, but spring cleaning is a great excuse to purge my closet of clothes and accessories I haven’t worn in a while. [Don’t forget to donate your lightly worn clothes to charity.] So as my closet starts to look bare, I have to ask: What am I going to replace it all with?

In lieu of my daily fashion post, here is a list of my must have Spring accessories from my new favorite shop. Spring was inspired by some fashion boutiques in SoHo, New York City. It’s a great site because it gives you the experience of shopping at all these boutiques in one place. Plus there are some really cute accessories on there that I totally want… like, now!

As you can tell from my list, I’m all about the sunglasses, watches and headbands. I want it all!

😛

Happy Shopping!

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Magnolia Cat Eye Sunglasses

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Learn to Draw like a Master Artist

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In Review #AmericanHorrorStory

I can’t believe I waited so long to watch this show. I like the set up, because I’m not much of a fan of shows that go on and on forever. I like that the series limits its plots to 1 season and then moves on to an entirely different concept the next. I think it’s also great for new viewers who don’t have the time to watch the entire series from the beginning. I like how all the seasons are standalone, but I also love how the show connected the seasons.

 

Season 1: I couldn’t get enough of it. I love Connie Britton and Evan Peters. They’re absolutely amazing actors. I loved all the twists and turns, all the flashbacks. I never wanted it to end, but I loved the ending. Big names and lots of talent in this season. I’d totally move into the Murder House. Sure everyone dies there, but there are so many ghosts– it’s like instant friends if you play your cards right.

Season 2: The Asylum was so difficult to watch. Not because the plot wasn’t compelling, but because it was so sad and depressing. Mental health facilities in the past in the states and still currently in some places abroad exist in vile and horrendously unacceptable conditions. The scariest and more horror filled part of this season is that just about anyone could have been locked up there for the rest of their lives. It could happen to any of us.

Season 3: LOVED every part of this. Strong cast. Strong women. Strong storylines. I love that it was a primarily female cast. I love Gabourey Sidibe, she has so much sass on her. Emma Roberts plays a really good person/character to hate. Angela Basset is amazing in just about any role she plays. Sarah Paulson’s character really blossomed towards the end. Kathy Bates is also amazing in it, she’s so believable as an actress. Taissa Farmiga’s performance seemed effortless. She’s a natural. But the character that really outshone the others was Jamie Brewer– hands down.

Season 4: Freak Shows are such a bizarre concept. I can’t believe they ever existed. I mean, factually of course I know they existed, but how anyone could go to one and taunt others for their disabilities. How awful were people. Too awful. I was super excited towards the beginning of the season, but towards mid-season I just wanted it to end. I wish the entire freak show family didn’t have to end in murder, but I like that the twins and lobster boy got together. Probably the best part of the season was Pepper and her timeline.

Season 5: This season was difficult for me to get into. It wasn’t until midseason when I started to get interested. As much as I love Lady Gaga’s performance and was stunned at how versatile the performances from Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are. I swear, they can act as anything. I love that the season turned its emphasis to Liz towards the end. I couldn’t love the first half of this season. I thought much of the sex scenes were unnecessary to the plot and the writers were trying to accomplish too many subplots and such. I wish they would have focused in a bit more.

 

Anyways. I love the show.

Back on the wagon #ootd #fitness

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For the activism #ootd

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Casual warmth #ootd

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