A Whirling Dervish

We were in Cairo in 2013, visiting the sights there before flying to Luxor to begin a cruise up the Nile River. We had a free evening and decided to take a local dinner cruise on the Lady Diana. The cruise meal was a delicious buffet of Egyptian food at Western prices. In addition to the meal, the featured entertainment included a singer whose American English was superb when he sang English-language songs, an o.k. belly dancer who was a great hit with two tables of men near us, and a sufi dancer.

The amazing sufi dancer, or “whirling dervish,” wore three skirts (that lit up at appropriate times) and spun counterclockwise for at least 20 minutes with no sign of dizziness. The following is a photo at the start of his performance.


As he was spinning at an unbelievable pace (we get dizzy after one spin in our desk chairs), his performance included elements such as producing a swaddled “baby” out of cloth. The most amazing element is shown in the next photo when the lights were dimmed and the dervish illuminated himself while spinning.


It is impossible to describe sufi dancing adequately in words (but you can find videos on YouTube).

Both photos were taken with an Olympus Tough TG-1, a great little travel camera and the only camera we had with us on that trip. Specs are:

First image: ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/20 sec, 10.29 mm

Second image: ISO 800, f/3.4, 1/20 sec, 9.61 mm




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