18 Countries Participate in Egypt Belly-Dancing Festival

Published June 3rd, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Egypt is holding its biggest ever belly-dancing festival. The week-long event has attracted nearly 300 participants from 18 countries, bringing together some of the world stars of the art.  

The festival's supporters fear the profession is at the risk of losing its Egyptian identity. Belly dancing has become something of an international craze, particularly in the United States, but in Egypt the revival of conservative Islamic traditions has discouraged many from taking it up, according to BBC. 

In addition to the Egyptians, dancers from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, US, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand will participate in the festival. 

“Egypt is the only Arab country to participate in the festival. We hope other Arab countries join us next year, since there are a number of distinguished Arab belly dancers,” Raqia Hassan, a former dancer in Redha Folkloric Group, and the festival supervisor told Agence France Press (AFP) – Albawaba.com  

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