Today, I would like to share this story I received in an email from one of the You Tube and blog followers from Saudi Arabia. She gave me permission to share it as long as her name is not mentioned anywhere in this post.
This was a moving email and I had few email interactions with her following the original email I received. She emailed me originally to thank me for the You Tube videos and the free lessons available online and she went on describing the challenges in doing so which to many of us should be a reminder of how grateful we should be for living in free countries where we could easily practice this beautiful art and perform it anywhere we'd like.
Her email had many typos and grammatical errors as English is of course not her her main language so I corrected all those mistakes. Other than that, these are her words and thoughts. I hope you read the entire email and I hope you find it inspirational.
" Hi, my name is ****. I live in Saudi Arabia and I love your videos. Thank you for posting all these classes on the internet.
I love belly dancing and in my life, it is the only thing I do that brings me joy. I am 35 years old, I am a mother to 6 children. I stay home all day sometimes for months at a time and cannot leave the house without my husband's permission and only when he comes home. The neighbors keep an eye on me to make sure I don't step out of the house unaccompanied and they keep track of who comes to my home all day. I am afraid of what they will report to my husband that I never invite people home so I am alone with my kids all day and alone.
My husband has another family, a wife and children in another city where he works so he stays with his other wife most of the time and he comes to my house only to visit the children. He hired a driver who drives my kids to school and back and I am not allowed to speak with him, he's not allowed to take me anywhere, only the children.
Staying home all day when my kids are in school, I cry for hours sometimes. I started thinking that my life would be very painful if I continue to do this and decided that I need to do the things that make me smile more. I always liked music and dancing, Egyptian music makes me happy and makes me dance. This is something I can do at home when I am alone all day because there is no one around me to watch me dance. I also like animals. I like cats and it would be nice to have a cat but authorities in Saudi banned buying animals so you can't buy a cat anymore.
I wanted to dance better and I have seen some oriental dance videos before and so I decided to search for those videos again on the internet. This made me happy and smile more. I found your videos and I started learning the movements watching them. I liked how hard it was because I can try to be better and that made me forget my sadness everyday. Now when my children go to school, I am happy because I can go on the internet and learn to dance. The days are now shorter than they used to feel before and I can spend all day not crying. I am happy
I like moving my body and when I used to go to girls school when I was younger, we used to have physical education for women. Now the religious police banned all gyms or physical activities for women. Dancing is my favorite way to move and I like sweating ha ha... I feel good
It is nice that YouTube is not banned yet in Saudi Arabia so I can watch and learn. I am afraid it will be banned soon. A lot of people talk about that and I don't know what I will do if it is. I started thinking about that. I can't download the videos in my computer because I am afraid my husband will find them. But I found some sites that link to YouTube video when YouTube is banned in a country and I think I could use them if we don't have YouTube any longer. In the internet, I can delete my history so my husband cannot see where I go so I don't want to copy your videos and dance videos in my computer.
Dancing makes me happy and I want to do it everyday but I am scared someone can see me or hear the music in my house. I don't have headphones and I can't leave the house to buy them. I wish I can. I am scared someone will find me or see me dancing but I love it and I am happy again.
Thank you for the videos"