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Gilded Serpent presents...
Hakim's Washington DC Concert
Rates a "C"

A Review by Taaj

I was understandably excited to be selected as one of the opening dancers for Hakim's show in Washington D.C. on October 3, 2004.  From the moment I found out about the concert, it was like nothing I'd ever experienced. 

I could find no information about the concert anywhere. Evidently, this concert was one of those things you just had to know about.  There was no ticket outlet, no web page, and you couldn't pay by credit card over the phone or online.

When I arrived at the Crystal City Hilton where the concert was being held, I realized the reason for the lack of advertising. The show was being run and wasattended mostly by Egyptians!  If you have ever been to Egypt, you will know what I mean when I say it was a "Totally Egyptian" experience . It was haphazard, not on time, and I was not sure that it was going to happen at all.

The doors were supposed to open at
9:00 p.m. and my show was supposed to start at 9:45. Both of these target times were an hour behind schedule. Another local performer danced right after me and ended her show around 11:00 p.m., which was when Hakim was supposed to appear.  After an hour of cooling our heels, the audience started chanting, "Hakim! .Hakim! .Hakim!" 

When he didn't show by 12:30 a.m., people began to leave and ask for their money back. They didn't believe he was coming at all.  To tell the truth, I didn't either.

At 1:00 in the morning, his band streamed in, quickly sat down, and started to play.  Hakim opened with "Asalāmu Alaykum." The crowd was up on its feet and never sat down.  The music was so fast that there was no way to dance to it, but we all clapped and most of the audience also sang along.

Hakim was full of energy and seemed to really enjoy himself on stage.  He was a lot of fun to watch. He smiled as he sang and spread love around the room.  His strong, loud voice never wavered. 

He occasionally threw in some dance steps that were the cutest movesyou ever saw. His performance was a most entertaining 45 minutes!

What wasn't entertaining was witnessing the strangely anomalous sight of drunken Arab women.  I was surprised to see Arab girls who were under the influence of alcohol yelling obscene propositions at Hakim.  They were not dressed to the nines as I've seen in other places, but looked rather American in apparel, and their behavior would have been unacceptable anywhere. 

It was an eye-opening experience for me. I would have to admit that I definitely had fun, but the entire experience was tiresome and surprising, as only Egypt can be. Except for the tardiness and brevity of Hakim's performance, he rates an "A". The rest of the night was disappointment after disappointment for me.  Still, I'd suggest you see Hakim if given the chance. Just be aware that it's probably not going to be like any other concert you have ever seen! 

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