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Stanford University International Week Celebration
Palo Alto, California
September 2004

Dancing with the peace belt was like a spiritual experience for me. Not only because it's a beautiful piece of art, but mostly because of what it symbolizes. Above all, I was dancing to Om Kolthoum's music who is the absolute most wonderful Arabic singer of all times. Om Kolthoum, even after her death in the 1980s, still unites all Arabic & Middle Eastern music lovers all over the world with her powerful, passionate and expressive songs. As you have witnessed, once the music started playing, the Arabic people in the audience started chiming in and singing the words, we simply cannot help it. It's that uniting power of the music and dance that I find the most rewarding and heart warming. Dancing with the peace belt and being part of your wonderful project fills me with hope and aspirations to a just lasting peace in the Middle East which, I believe, can be achieved through the universal language of music & dance. My dance troupe consists of people from Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, China, Hong Kong & the USA. United, dancing together and enjoying the richness of our diverse backgrounds to bring harmony, joy & celebration to the world.

Thank you, Hala

Hala Dance ( offers classes, workshops and performances of traditional Middle Eastern dance.