Mary Ellen Donald
Mary Ellen Donald is legendary in the field of American musicians who play middle eastern music. Articles, books, recordings, performance schedules, and much else are found on this website which Mary Ellen's son John has created for her many fans and admirers to use and enjoy. The site contains a memorial page to Mimi Spencer.
(This site has a section which features biographies of artists, a different one added each month; also reviews of Middle Eastern dance music and information on how to purchase it.)
This site has some of the older belly-dance recordings, and bios of artists, which are not always available elsewhere. Go to the "wilds sounds" page.
Yasmina's Joy of Bellydancing
The translations on this site are also found at Shira's site, but there are a lot of other reasons that Yasmina's site is fun to explore. History, links to interesting articles, books about dance and related subjects, drum rhythms, and articles describing what it's like to produce the belly dance cable TV show and dance events which Yasmina and her husband John collaborate on.
If you like to explore in depth the philosophy of the dance, and love to immerse yourself in experience of the culture that gave it birth, I suggest strongly that you read the home page and the articles page of Eva's site.
RAQS with Kashmir
An interesting and well-researched site which includes, among its wealth of information, a well-organized table on all the different types of Middle Eastern dance, and some song translations not found elsewhere. Its web-mistress is New Zealand dancer, Kashmir.
Born January 2003, this site aims eventually to give the viewer an extensive listing of individuals and groups of the United States and Canada who are involved Middle Eastern music or dance.
This site contains many articles on the anthropology of dance and music in middle eastern culture. Go to the home page and click on "ethnography", "enthology", and "library".
The Gilded Serpent
An on-line bellydance magazine which has some real jewels of articles, in among the gossipy chitchat about what's happening on the belly dance scene.
Middle East Dance List
If you are the type of person who would be interested in reading twenty to thirty e-mail "posts" a day, from people all over the world who are interested in Middle Eastern dance, send an e-mail to email@example.com and have the word "subscribe" in the body of the e-mail. Some of the "posts" are not interesting at all, but many are from experts and well-known authorities in the field. (Editor's note: if these directions do not work, e-mail me and I will help you.)
(The following links are not musical,(although Al-Ahram and AlJadid do have some articles on music and culture) but in these times, understanding between cultures is so crucial, that I feel I must include them.)
If you are an intellectual type person who is interested in Arabic arts and culture, AlJadid may be just your cup of tea. There are book reviews, film reviews, and thoughtful articles on Arab politics and culture. AlJadid is published by an Arab-American professor who is on the faculty of Stanford University.
This weekly Cairo newspaper, in publication for four decades, has an on-line English version that is very well-done. News, editorials, culture, and arts all are covered, in an intelligent and lively style.
(The official website of the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) This organization is recommended by the editor of Al Jadid magazine for its rational viewpoint. ADC does a lot of lobbying the U.S. government, trying to change the U.S. policy in the Middle East, and also helps fight against discrimination against Arabs in the United States.)
For some views of the invasion as seen from inside Iraq, via unofficial e-mails, click on "Iraq Diaries". Also found some fascinating stuff on "Action and Activism", and I'm sure there is much more to be found on this excellent site. There are also articles which tell what Arabic networks are showing their audiences.
Where is Raed? and Salam Pax
"Where is Raed" is a web-log purported to be from Baghdad. "Salam Pax" is the pen
name of a reporter who also claims to write from Baghdad. Their anonymity allows them to write what they see from their own eyes. My favorite way to get these sites to come up is to go to Google and type in "Salam Pax". (Editor's note: some have pointed out that, due to the nature of e-mail, these sites could be coming from Kansas and we would never know. But why don't you read them yourself and decide?)
Will we ever truly be one connected world? Will the peoples of one country ever mourn the deaths of the soldiers and civilians of other countries as they mourn the deaths of their own?