Partying Arab Style

by Weam Namou

Dancing the Depka

In celebration of finishing the first-draft of my book and as a belated Valentine’s Day outing, I wanted to go to Lazeez, a Middle Eastern nightclub. My sister’s husband operates Lazeez, which is in Livonia. It’s a chic table-seating nightclub with a live band, great food and the wonderful smell of nerguila (water pipes).

We were a large group of siblings and their spouses, but no one knew about me finishing the first draft of my book. I didn’t want to talk or think about books last night. I just wanted to have fun. And it was fun. We enjoyed heart-felt music, we laughed, we danced, and we got home later than we’re accustomed to.

Middle Eastern music influenced (and has been influenced by) the music of Greece and India, as well as Central Asia, Spain, Southern Italy, the Caucasus and the Balkans, as in Byzantine music and Chalga. As for dancing, there’s a growing body of evidence that the thousands year old belly dance moves date back to Neolithic times and the Goddess-based cultures that existed then.

There’s also the depka, a line dance that forms from right to left. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers.

Yes, it was a very fun Saturday night, except the party when on the way home someone vomited in the car, my car.