Sight of a Woman

The most precious of gifts bestowed on men by providence is the timeless beauty of women. We, as hapless men, can argue all we want on the virtues of inner magnificence or the splendor of the mind. We can write volumes on our esteem for the genius of women, about our respect for their intellect, about our humility in the face of their admirable spirit and more. Yet in an ultimate moment of lucidity and honesty and beyond all what has been said and written over the years, before political correctness and thereafter, I was, I still am, I will forever remain in love with beautiful looking women.
I will not attempt to muffle the voices in my head. I won’t turn my demons down. I’m talking about visual beauty, about the outer shell no matter how deceiving it might be, about the curves and contours of the female body regardless of how shallow I actually am.
For all of the above and for reasons beyond, I am enchanted, enthralled, rapt by the sight of a seductively animalistic, dazzlingly sensual, visually consuming oriental dancer. I need first to get the silly term “belly dancing” out of the way as there is no such thing. The term was invented by a French Orientalist toward the end of the 19th century. Dance de ventre, the idiot called it and the term stuck in the West. In Arabic, and rest assured that there is no superior manifestation of Arabism than in Oriental Dancing, it is simply called Raqs Sharqi رقص شرقي . Our sweets are also called Oriental Sweets Halwiyat Sharqiaحلويات شرقية , and our manners and customs are known as Adatna Al Sharqiaعاداتنا الشرقية . The Orient in this context is us. It is who we are to ourselves without masks, veils or camouflage: Orientals نحن الشرقيون .
Despite the fact that the true origins of oriental dancing remain open to controversy and dispute, it was those Arabs flanked by the Nile and the Euphrates who perfected it in its three major components: rhythmic percussion produced by the tapping of expert fingers on the Tabla (Derbakeh) طبلة أو دربكة, undulating swaying and bending of the faultless female body هزي يا وزة and the enchanted gaze of a man worshipping the essence of divine beautyإن الله جميل يحب الجمال. The musicالموسيقى , the wine الخمرة , the company النديم and the ambiance الجو are indispensable props on the consecrated stage of oriental dance and indeed conspire to make the ritual more spectacular.
If we examine some of the engravings left behind 3000 years ago by the Pharos of the Nile on one side and the Assyrians and Sumerians of Mesopotamia on the other we can discern the similarities between these early forms of dancing and what had later evolved to become our present day oriental dancing. It is also argued that the birthing practices and rituals first performed in ancient temples fashioned the first steps and sways of the complex and coherent movements of today’s exotic dance.
In the last 10 years, oriental dancers have lost ground to a new wave of female singers, the Shlikatt شلكات of modern Arabic music. These so-called artists فنانات are basically performers who are unable to either sing or dance properly. Many are superficially beautiful as I claim to like them. However, they have crossed the thin line between enchantment and sexual arousal. A beautiful oriental dancer can hold a man hostage to the sight of her for an indefinite time, not even daring to blink. The performance is absorbing and fulfilling visually, on the mental level, like an exquisite painting of one of the great masters. It is a feast for the eyes only, created by the master craftsman of the universe and should never arouse a man sexually. It is perfectly admissible for a man, when the dance is over, to start having his erotic dreams and yearnings, but not a moment before. This line of thought is what makes a true oriental dancer an artist of the highest level while exposing many of today’s female singers as they realistically are, mediocre yet highly paid call girls.
During my unassuming research for this post, I came across a disturbing point in the effect that oriental dancing is performed by both men and women. I do not really know who is behind this stupid notion. If it’s a western conjecture then I graciously make the correction: NO. If on the other hand, it was some Oriental asshole, be it a man or a woman who pronounced that oriental dancing is unisex then we are, as a culture, in deep trouble. There is no sight on earth as repulsive, as grotesque, as ugly or as nauseating as a man or a lost soul dancing oriental. Being more intimate and feminine than shaving legs, only unbelievably stunning-looking women should be allowed to perform oriental dancing in public.

It has been over 10 years since I had my last revelation of a beautiful oriental dancer. I have spent most of last week attending a conference in Damascus. I sat at long continuous meetings from 9:00 AM to 6:00PM everyday then enjoyed the best of the Damascene nightlife in the after-hours. On the final night I went to see Rachelle who inspired me to write this post. She danced for about an hour and her performance was nothing short of breathtaking. She was wholly gifted for oriental dancing. Long and soft dark hair moving in the exact direction she wanted it to. Gorgeous wide and daring green eyes exuding intelligence and glee. Full inviting lips and a stunningly translucent smile betraying a thousand untold stories. A supple and scrumptious neck leading the eyes on an endless journey into the unknown. A perfect pair of round and delicious breasts turning a man into an infant. A wonderful belly button and a faultless flat belly with the minutest of loose semi-fold over the hips to get a good grip if need be. A caramel skin glistening under the spotlights with cascading pearly beads of sweat giving the effect that every single pore of her body is part of the dance. An ideal bursting yet compact ass befitting a gorgeous oriental woman. Exquisite thighs, knees, calves, feet and toes that made her prance as if cavorting on a thin layer of clouds like a fairy beauty queen. Thank you Rachelle for flooding me with your grace and presence, for bringing the Orient back to life in me, for reminding me that there is no creature on earth as beautiful as a woman, for fulfilling my eyes and bringing joy to my heart, for proving that an unbelievably appealing, almost naked woman can still make a man think of art rather than sex and can still be more spiritually chaste than a priestess or a saint. You must’ve heard dozens of compliments that night, mine was the shortest I like to think. Damn, you’re gorgeous Rachelle يفدح حريشك ما أحلاك!!!


Dubai Jazz said…
the Shlikatt شلكات of modern Arabic music.


Man, I am still laughing so hard... I need to re-read the rest of the post because I couldn't stop laughing all the way to the end..

A masterpiece Abu fares! (that's Rachelle and your post)
Ihsan said…
a girl who has the right hips, belly and curves to perform oriental dance can enslave me in a blink of an eye...and I will, forvere, happily be a slave...of course until she grows fat and my shallowness kicks in...

but for now...oriental dance is the sexiest dance ever....
Unknown said…
No one can describe a woman like you Abufares. My favourite sentence was "Full inviting lips and a stunningly translucent smile betraying a thousand untold stories"
I think it's because I know exactly what you meant by it. Or maybe because I think of the same thing when I see a beautiful woman.

Thanks for another amazing post.
Anonymous said…
i alwayes loved wild and natural beaty, Brasil is the land of beutiful women and in quantitis, but nothing can be compaired with the middle eastern muslem beauty, the only moments that i forgot fishing (while I was fishing the eufrates river) was when bedwin ladys were filling the (jara) from the eufratis banks, (shi biakhod al akle )
Aufares by the way do you have a Tartousi recipe for (SQUID).

Yazan said…
Wonderful post ya Abu fares, there's something here for everybody.
Ammoontie said…
... and thats why everyone is in love with a beautiful woman.
Sorry dear Abu Fares I would like to ask about food here ( need your help actually..! )
I tried mixing the red hot chilli with olive oil, but unfortunately there were moulds on the chilli. What went wrong ?
Would appreciate your help. Thanks.
Abufares said…
I couldn't think of a better fitting word than Shlikatt! Amazing isn't it, the subtlety of the Arabic language! Rachelle is the masterpiece. My post is a humble rendition.
Abufares said…
What can I say, we, as healthy men have our common fantasies ;-)
Abufares said…
Her translucent smile betrays a thousand untold stories indeed. Also shimmering on her perfect pearly teeth were the hundreds of broken promises.
Abufares said…
Al3youn Al Daba77a العيون الدباحة
that's how I wanted to describe her eyes but my English betrayed me.
Can anyone help please?!
Abufares said…
I doubt that many people would agree with you that there is something for everybody in this post. There is something for every healthy and honest man I guess. You happen to be both :-)
Abufares said…
Did you do that on purpose, taking my mind off Rachelle?
You're right, some mould might develop on the surface especially on the floaters. The reason of course is trapped air.May be I should've mentioned that it's essential to squeeze the air out of the chillies individually. However, no need to panic as this is harmless. Why don't you skim it out (like I did) then closely tighten the the bottle when not in use. I have the plastic covers for opened wine bottle and the little pump to create a vacuum. Since I start using one on my oil the mould totally disappeared.
Ammoontie said…
Thanks Abu Fares for the tips. I was scared of the moulds, thought I would have to throw the whole olive oil out.
No dear, I was not trying to take your thoughts away from Rachelle,
I dont have your email, so this is the only way to ask for your advice.
Thanks again...
KJ said…
عندك الشلكات وعندك الشلك جاد شو-ايري.

حالتك صعبة يا صاحبي، إنت متزوج نحنا العزابييه شو نحكي!!!
Abufares said…
I was just kidding:-) You are always welcome to drop me a line any way you like. BTW, my email is:
abufares at bigfoot dot com
Abufares said…
Appreciating beauty has nothing to do with marital status.
I'm married true, but I didn't go blind!
إن الله جميل يحب الجمال
Haifaa said…
your poor wife.
Abufares said…
@Az3ar's Fan
You got it wrong.
If we follow your line of thought then all writers (good and bad), all poets (great and mediocre), all artists (genius and stupid) had to be single.
I can be equally moved by a beautiful sunset or the smile of a woman.
Then again the smile of a woman is not the only beautiful aspect of her. She has breasts and it just so happen that nature made them extremely beautiful (well not in all cases of course :-)
Should a married man refrain from looking or from speaking out his mind? Couldn't a married man be in compete love with his wife (notice the word complete), yet still enjoy looking at sunsets and beautiful breasts?
I can't see why not.
Anonymous said…
Abu Fares you are giving us a line of thinking that is 70 years old. It is very strange, how does someone now think like people used to think 70 years ago? I thought they are all dead or old.

Your usual annoying guest

p.s. Could you post about beautiful men? I am gay.
Abufares said…
You might be right. It's very possible that I belong to a bygone breed. I don't mind that at all to be honest.
P.S. I've already posted about men BTW and I'm not gay but very happy.
Anonymous said…
If I were happy I wouldn't be writting these comments. But I am truly gay, although that is not the reason why I am not unhappy.
Anonymous said…
How devastating for our sex that we have to watch this same Divine Beauty that first attracted you to us gradually, yet tangibly and savagely, fade; whilst at the same time we watch the gradually increasing wondering of our partners' eyes to younger possessors of the same Divine Beauty. Cruel, cruel fate!
Haifaa said…
If we follow your line of thought then all writers (good and bad), all poets (great and mediocre), all artists (genius and stupid) had to be single.

Abu Fares:

Tell me one single happy spouse/partner of a creative genius? LOL

I suppose I get it about checking out beautiful women for the sake BEAUTY ALONE? No/yes?
Abufares said…
Once a man finds the love of his life nothing or nobody else can ever replace that woman in his heart. We are aging as well and the joy of looking is not to be taken seriously at all.
The luckiest man in the world is one who wakes up every morning and finds his true love by his side. I am blessed to claim that this is true in my case. My musings and ramblings should never be taken seriously.
However, in a twisted sort of way, don't you think that it's positive for a woman to know that her partner is still young at heart and enjoys the looking bit while he still remain totally devoted to her on the emotional level?
Abufares said…
@Az3ar's Fan
Now we are on the same wave length my friend.
I chose to write on what I clearly called superficial beauty but it is there. After enjoying a hearty meal, a full plate of exotic fruits is a welcomed sight although we don't have to actually touch it at all.
Anonymous said…
Abufares I remembered a slang Hlabi expressin for a rount/up t...
(tiz betmajed el khalaha )
Mariyah said…
I enjoyed this post. I too appreciate the beauty of an Oriental dancer. I notice all the things you do, but as a woman, the effects are slighly different. My desire would be to be able to impart the same feeling as she does when I dance - but I am small and compact rather than voluptuous - and so I dance in the privacy of my home. I admire her grace, the way her movements affect the audience (particularly the men), and the timelessness of the dance. Oriental dance has a definite mystical quality about it, if done properly. I have no doubt that you were "swept away" by Rachelle. And I don't see anything wrong with that. That is what is supposed to happen. In my mind people who can appreciate beauty and speak of it freely, are the REAL people...and no, I don't think your thoughts are shallow. Just human.
Abufares said…
It's so rewarding to get 'approved" by a woman when we to talk about visual beauty.
I simply described how the sight of a beautiful woman affected me. But what are my choices really?
1- Keep it to myself
2- Lie and pretend I didn't like her.
3- Write or talk about my impressions.
I chose 3. BTW, I often do that:-)
Mariyah said…
And your writing is wonderful! I'm glad you chose to do that!
Anonymous said…
Hala Abufares,
I myself always thought of women when the word 'bellydancer' came up, however my image was distorted on a trip to Sharm,Egypt. As my family and I had signed up for the "Alf Leila w Leila" show with one of the many tourist company's that hunted while there, we patiently waited for the show to start. Reading through the brochure and timings, I came across "Tito the bellydancer" w ma adrak ma Tito el bellydancer.

As I was reading your post , I thought I should look Tito up for you , and share my feelings at that time .

Tito the bellydancer

Tito performing

All about Tito the 'star' belly dancer

Abufares said…
Tito indeed destroys my mental image but the maximum he can ever achieve is to be a "Belly dancer" instead of a stunning "oriental dancer".
He is very talented at physically doing things which nature and evolution intended women to perfect. Is he a creative artist or a freak? Does he evoke human emotions on a deep level or just another funny act? Is he "beautiful" or absurd?
That is not for me to judge. I know I will pick Rachelle and her sisters anytime.
Thank you for your first visit to my blog.
Abu Steif said…
Not only "Shilikat" but also "3ahirat" because our singers stooped to the lowest level ever. It is a shame that we lost touch with our heritage.
Anonymous said…
What if a woman loves to dance, lives and breathes the dance in her heart, is talented, graceful, expressive - and is not physically perfect? If she has a little fat from childbearing, a rounded tummy, faint lines in her neck, a scar somewhere, freckles, skin under her arms not completely firm?

These effects all kick in long before we're expecting them, long before we ever want to see them. While we're still feeling young and in love with our dance, and all our best years are still around and ahead of us.

Are we then no longer good enough? Are we supposed to draw back as soon as we hit 32 and leave the stage to the big-busted 21-year-olds?

Any man who says yes! to this has proved that he is really only in erotic love with the sweet young firm flesh that dances - not lost in admiration for the talents of the dancing woman, and not in love with the dance.
Abufares said…
My dear Anonymous
This old post of mine was a tip of the hat for the sensual oriental dancer that is as much (if not more) a part of our Levantine identity as the new clumsy attempts at hypocritical chastity.
A certain kind of man can (and should) allow his eyes to feast on such a beautiful site. But his heart beats to the dance of his only woman. He adores her childbearing fat and round tummy, the faint lines in her neck, that hidden scar and those countless freckles, ohhh those freckles. He could lose himself in the skin under her arms forever and ever and often does.
The beauty of that woman you aptly described is reserved only for a special kind of man, a rare one... a man in love.
Athena said…
As an oriental dancer who isn't physically perfect like Rachelle, I wonder the same things that Anonymous brought up in her post. I've never had that kind of slim figure even as a teen, and have had low self esteem until I discovered "bellydance" in my 20s. I fell completely in love with this beautiful dance and it has profoundly improved my self image. But while the dance has given me confidence, taught me grace and how to enhance my natural beauty, I know that there are many other dancers who are more beautiful, talented and with fantastic bodies. But why should I not be allowed to perform too? Yes, presentation is no doubt important, but should the focus of the dance not be on the art and the expression, first and foremost?
Abufares said…
Although I fully understand your point of view I think you've somehow missed the main point behind this post. Oriental Dancing such as the one I am praising is far more than "belly dancing", a term I wholeheartedly despise.
You would at least agree with me that Ballet is not "toe dancing". I also expect you to favorably consider the following statement: A ballerina needs to have certain physical characteristics to work for a professional company. Well, so does an Oriental Dancer. Whoever marketed "belly" dancing in the West as one that doesn't require a beautiful and shapely physique made a mistake. I love singing when I'm alone. I have an acceptable voice. My mother used to think that I'm talented. But I know the truth, I'm not THAT talented nor have any chance in front of a discerning audience. Will that stop me from humming a private tune? Never! If as you've indicated you don't have a perfect body, should that stop you from performing your oriental dancing in public? Only you know the answer. It's great that this art form helped you with your self esteem but that is not enough of a reason to make a professional dancer of anyone.
You've probably read my reply to Anonymous. A man in love is not objective about his woman. He cherishes her physical imperfections as much much he appreciates her unique character. But a professional oriental dancer should have a gorgeous and sexy body. It doesn't have to be perfect but it has to be well proportioned. Her hair doesn't have to be long, smooth and black but it certainly enhances her look.
Thank you for your comment. I hope you realize that this is only a one man's opinion :-)
Athena said…
I respect your opinion, Abu Fares :) Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I should stick to just teaching ;)

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