Matt made his way to the camp fire to see what all the commotion was about. A grinning Omar waved him to come over. The crowd had gathered to see a tall barefoot beauty dancing to the rhythms of percussion playing. She danced with abandon her swaying hips, curving patterns, and undulations in perfect body movements. Her arms and hands move fluidly, like serpents in the air. She had Remarkable strength and control in her belly.
“She plays the Saghat, like no one else.” He danced around and played imaginary Saghat’s in the air. His laughter was hardy and Matt couldn’t help but be amused by him. “No one dances like her.” The lovely dancer made her way around the gathering expertly. She knew how to work a crowd.
Matt, gave the dancer his complete attention. She waved to the members of the accompanying band acknowledging them. Then Omar danced over to her attempting to copy her moves and literally fell into the band. One by one, he traded his wine flask for an instrument. Each band member took a drink while he played each instrument badly. Somehow, by the time he was done the players regrouped and never missed a beat.
Except for Omar the men were surprising calm observers clapping and eating. Even though their appearance was rough and worn, the whole group was almost polite.
The music changed and got more involving. This pleased the dancer who began to show more depth of feeling in her movements. Now her dancing was more like ballet, more artistic expression than entertainment. She moved toward the fire where she perform large gliding steps and spins. How she managed to keep her body upright almost defied gravity yet was graceful.
The dancer quickly made her way towards the main group of the camp and it finally got rowdy. As she danced closer to the group’s leader, she became wilder and more daring. He was a tall strikingly handsome man who showed no emotion regardless of what she did.
The dancer now performing directly in the man’s face, the place went wild. They fired guns and screamed in long, wavering, high-pitched howls. As the music accompanied her movements, she danced on his lap, her hands cupping her breasts while she rolled her belly and pelvis.
The dancer finished with her ballet of temptation, moved on, and seemed to be consciously making sure that everyone got a good look at her dance. Finally made her way over to the area where Matt and the old man were. Omar was only steps behind her.
She began dancing in the direction of Peters. The old man jumped and moved as if he was trying to hide.
Matt grabbed him. “Where you going, pops?”
“Dog gone it.” Peters shouted.
“She dances the Sharqi,” Omar yelled to the old man. It translated as THE DANCE OF THE EAST. “This dance is just for you.”
“I’ll just be damned.” Matt said amazed.
She danced in front of Peters. At that moment one of the moons came out from behind the clouds, the light hit her eyes; Matt was startled when he saw them. She glanced over at him and their gazes met. Omar smacked him on the back to wake him up. “Look all you like; a look is all you get my friend.”
She winked at him and danced away. However, Matt couldn’t take his eyes off her. He followed her, focused on her every move. Finally, he turned and looked for the old man. He could hardly keep the words from coming out of his mouth. “IS THAT JIHAN?”