Fake Ghawazi alert

Jane

New member
Forwarded from Edwina Nearing
April 22, 2013 -- NEWEST PHONY GHAWAZI SCAM EXPLOITS TECHNOLOGY

Considering how she is looked down on in her own country and has often had to sell her costumes, even her television and refrigerator, to cover living expenses, it is amazing how many imposters try to pass themselves off as "Ghawazi dancer" Khairiyya Mazin. First there were Karam and Amal Shauqi in the mid-90s -- they paid local taxi drivers to take people seeking Ghawazi dance lessons from Khairiyya to them instead. At least the Shauqis were real Ghawazi, just not very good ones. Then there was long-time enemy Muhammed Murad, the rababa player who tried to pressure Khairiyya into joining his prostitution ring; after she refused, he got her bumped off the Musicians of the Nile tour of the U.S. in the mid-90s, disrupted one of her 2003 Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival workshops in Cairo, and a few years later dressed Cairo belly dancers in Mazin-style bead-fringed gowns and tried to pass them off as "the Banat Mazin" in the villages of Upper Egypt. Then a colleague of his, Mamdouh Abdel Rahim, contacted Ahlan wa Sahlan sponsor Raqia Hassan with a view towards presenting his daughter Hanan there as Khairiyya's "cousin and protege;" he also arranged to meet incoming tour groups with Hanan under the same pretense when they arrived at hotels in the Luxor area.

Now Khairiyya informs me that the latest scam artist to try making a buck off the Mazin reputation, apparently with the blessing of local authorities, as he is employed by the Palace of Culture in Qurna, is touting "dance lessons and performances by Khairiyya Mazin" on the Internet. His name -- Khairiyya writes me in Arabic -- transliterates to something like Mustafa Bara'i. With his partner Mujahid Qanawik al-Zimar and "two girls who say they are folkloric dancers but know nothing about the arts of the Luxor area," they whisk prospective dance students lured by Bara'i's website off for lessons at the Palace of Culture, and though Bara'i keeps claiming to be Khairiyya's representative, victims finallly depart without ever having met Khairiyya at all.

Khairiyya asked me in her letter to "publish in the papers and on the Internet that Mustafa Bara'i is a swindler and whoever deals with him will never see Khairiyya." Unfortunately, since the Net has decimated the print media, there is no longer a single "go-to" source for dance enthusiasts like Habibi Magazine used to be in the U.S. through which I can get the word out. I've tried unsuccessfully to find Bara'i's website, so I suspect that it is in a foreign language -- French, German, Italian, or Japanese most likely -- requiring me to input a search string in that language to find it. I would like to find it if only to see how an employee of the Egyptian government advertises lessons on government property in a dance form which most Egyptians claim no longer exists or is just some kind of unskilled capering for backward villagers. Ironically, it may be these villagers and their loyalty to the Ghawazi who keep unadulterated Egyptian dance alive, while in their detractors' own backyards, the city nightclubs and other dance venues, Egyptian dance appears to be dying.

Any assistance in communicating Khairiyya's warning about these newest "phony Ghawazi" to users of foreign-language websites would be greatly appreciated.

The real Khairiyya Mazin lives in a studio apartment about a mile from the Luxor train station, at Al-Masakin al-Sha'biyya, Salah Salim Street, Apt. 27, Bldg. 2, Entrance B, Luxor. Letters to her must be sent by registered mail or they will not arrive. Her telephone number (home) is 2364693; prefix 95 when calling within Egypt but outside the Luxor area. Her cell phone number is 0163797012. Khairiyya is available to teach or perform with only a few hours' notice when she is in Luxor, that is, when she is not performing in the countryside. She can teach basic steps/movements and finger cymbals to one or two people in her apartment but needs more room to "swing a stick" -- and I do recommend studying stick/cane dancing with her once one has a fair grasp of basic steps/movements. Khairiyya is highly regarded as a stick dancer in the area, with a variety of Mazin heritage riffs and poses, some of which may now be unique since she is their last practitioner.

And now I'll try to finish the article I've been working on for the last couple of weeks, which has NO mention whatsoever of Ghawazi. Not one! I promise! . . . But where to publish it? Okay, it's not great literature, but I've put some time into it, and I don't want it to just disappear "into the cloud" as the latest Mysterious, Tech Insider's Buzz-Word has it (I only recently found out that "streaming" means "broadcast" -- why can't they just say "broadcast"? "Oh, but then it wouldn't look like we belonged to some Secret Powers group!" So buy a plastic secret decoder ring already, guys!)
 

Safran

New member
After talking with a lot of dancers (of different disciplines) in Egypt, it appears that people presenting themselves as someone else is unfortunately a common problem. Even though the dancers' community is relatively small, and as people are very mobile between agencies/troupes/theatres, and everyone knows everyone, it still happens a lot that people show up at potential employers claiming they are someone else.

I guess the only way to fight that is to talk to people... if you want to learn a specific style or come across an instructor you don't know, ask someone whose knowledge you respect. And get a second or third opinion too.

This is why it is awesome to have this forum! :dance:
 

walladah

New member
To me, it sounds outrageous that someone is a complete imposter! i mean, i know people claiming to have had lessons with A or B teacher (and you know from their performance that they have not even watched their videos on youtube) but to claim you are another dancer and teacher, oh, that is too much.

I think Ms Mazin, no matter how modest and grounded she might be, she needs to have a webpage or a blog or even a FB page. Even if it is in Arabic, it will be ok, as search machines transliterate nowadays and they can give results from one language to another, more or less. Otherwise, any imposter will be able to create an entire fake identity for herself and claim she is Ms Mazin. She needs to do it for the sake of the art she cherishes.
 

Safran

New member
Walladah, what you suggested is great, but it brings us to another problem... Often, the people who are excellent dancers/instructors/sources of knowledge, put much less effort in "marketing" themselves. Well, in many cases when someone is really good at what they do, they are know through word-of-mouth-channels. However, there are so many people more skilled in making themselves visible in the internet than at what they really do :(
 

AndreaSTL

New member
However, there are so many people more skilled in making themselves visible in the internet than at what they really do :(
Truer words have never been spoken! I understand the concept of marketing, but you have to be able to deliver what you promise. I've read sites or heard about a dancer who has been dancing for X number of years, teaches 42 classes a week, dances at every local restaurant, and runs a troupe only to be completely horrified at their skill level when I saw them dance in person. I'm not sure if they are padding their resume, they are the best in their city but with little or no competition, or if they are just completely delusional, but when seeing them in person the performance couldn't live up to their own hype. I'm all for promoting yourself, but it has to be grounded in reality!
 

MizzNaaa

New member
As sad as this is, I'm not even surprised; considering how the state Egypt has been and is going through right now. There's utter chaos everywhere, why would the government even bother protecting artists and Egyptian art or stop fraud when they can't even be bothered to protect our water. Bah, this depresses me.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
As sad as this is, I'm not even surprised; considering how the state Egypt has been and is going through right now. There's utter chaos everywhere, why would the government even bother protecting artists and Egyptian art or stop fraud when they can't even be bothered to protect our water. Bah, this depresses me.
:( *hugshugs* We all wish things were better for your country. Just remember you have lots of people here who love you. <3
 

Kartane

New member
As sad as this is, I'm not even surprised; considering how the state Egypt has been and is going through right now. There's utter chaos everywhere, why would the government even bother protecting artists and Egyptian art or stop fraud when they can't even be bothered to protect our water. Bah, this depresses me.
Hugs Hugs Hugs! Hoping things get better and Egypt finds lots of joy soon!!!
 
Top