"BLACK TIE GALA AT OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING OF KING TUT EXHIBIT AT THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE ON FEBRUARY 3, 2007"

By SORAYA

On Saturday, February 3, 2007, I performed in one of most amazing events ever...
This incredible evening of high cultural art took place at the famous Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. I opened the milestone exhibit of:


"King Tutankhamen and The Golden Age of the Pharaohs"

I am so thrilled to be able to share my joy with all of you...
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better after opening the concert for Egyptian singing superstar Amr Diab, hanging out with him backstage in the dressing room at The Trump Taj Mahal Casino last March 2006; I was hired to belly dance at the official grand opening black tie Gala of the most amazing event ever. Entertaining for this milestone museum exhibit is something I will never forget. This event has brought me to such a heightened pinnacle and is definitely one of the highlights of my entire belly dance career. I performed for over 1,000 Egyptian and American dignitaries as national and International press swarmed the scene and television networks filmed every aspect of the event. The Egyptian Ambassador to the United Nations, along with Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, the governor, among many other VIP's from all over the US and the globe were there. I met many celebrities and had a fantastic evening.

I had a staff of people that were assigned to me which included a person to escort me and my entourage back and forth to my dressing room after each dance performance and press photo session, my own DJ, lighting and sound crew. It was so much fun to be a main focal point of high Egyptian art and accompany this milestone, once-in-a-lifetime cultural exhibit. I thoroughly enjoyed performing not only in front of so many cameras and high-end guests of the gala but also to see what goes on behind the scenes as well. It was not only wonderful as a professional International artist but, as an event planner and entertainment agent as well. It was fascinating being a part of history in the making.

The Franklin Institute told me I was carefully selected to entertain and provide Egyptian belly dancing. They told me they wanted this very rare, high-society, official grand opening gala to be as perfect as possible since you only have "one chance to impress" as so many VIP's, global dignitaries, celebrities and press were present in one place. This event was beyond MEGA HUGE for the city of Philadelphia and the entire Eastern Seaboard. It was like the red carpet at the Oscars for Egyptian culture! I was in belly dance heaven and still am. You could literally feel the excitement in the air for this once in a lifetime gala to honor King Tut and Egyptian culture in the best way possible.

"King Tut mania" has spread over the entire Philadelphia and tri-state area. It is everywhere you look. The Four Seasons Hotel (a personal favorite of my husband and I) and other area restaurants/hotels are offering beautiful and delicious culinary treats of Egyptian and King Tut inspired food selections and cocktails. The Four Seasons Hotel in particular, is offering such amazing delights at the gourmet "Fountain" restaurant as well as in the "Swan" lounge. The other entertainment of the evening were men dressed as Pharaohs and there was a live camel greeting the guests! I prepared extra special Egyptian choreographies as well as musical selections for the evening. I could not have had a better time with my craft. I am at the peak of my artistic and creative journey.

For my many performances, I had large television and movie crews following me around with their lights, cameras and microphones. One giant crew in particular taped me for ten minutes straight! I was told I was being filmed as part of a National Geographic documentary that will be aired worldwide very soon! It will appear on an International special about "King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibit. It was so awesome. I was also taped for Egyptian television as there were numerous film crews, reporters, and press photographers from not only Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware and New York, but also Cairo, Egypt, Beirut, Lebanon and from all around the Middle East and Europe who were present as well.

Within the exhibit itself, there is not only a child-sized throne made of wood, gesso, gold, ivory, and copper alloy but also artifacts from the five other Pharaohs tombs, which ruled during the “Golden Age”. Close to 130 artifacts comprise "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs". Fifty artifacts excavated from the tomb of King Tutankhamen range from his Royal Diadem or his beautiful solid gold and bejeweled crown to the miniature confinettes that contained his mummified organs. In addition to the artifacts from King Tut’s tomb there are more than 70 pieces from tombs of other rulers that were also part of the “Golden Age”. All of the antiquities within the exhibit date back more than 3,500 years. It is truly something to behold...This Philadelphia stop on the King Tut exhibit tour will be the only one in the Northeastern region and the last stop in the U.S. before it heads to London, England.

During my many different Egyptian performances throughout this fabulous evening, I could literally FEEL the history and I was so thrilled to have been part of this much hyped grand opening black tie ball. Performing at this gorgeous gala seriously kicked it up to a whole new level. This means so much to me not only as an International belly dance artist and entertainment agent but as a cultural Anthropologist. I am still reeling from all of the excitement of performing on February 3...

May all of your most wildest dreams (both professional and personally)
come true for all of you too as they have for me!

Life doesn't get much better than this...
Much love and many shimmies,

HAPPY SPRING!
SORAYA


Please enjoy some of the photos taken below:


The Entrance to THE KING TUTANKHAMUN EXHIBIT

Soraya poses next to a golden Egyptian Mau cat statue
(Soraya and her husband own a real Egyptian Mau named Joseph).

Soraya belly dances at the King Tut exhibit - Philadelphia, PA

Soraya at the mural of King Tut.

Soraya in concert during the official black tie Gala of the
King Tut Exhibit at The Franklin Institute - Philadelphia, PA.

Soraya belly dances at the VIP black tie gala,
February 3, 2007 - THE KING TUT EXHIBIT.

Belly Dancer Soraya

Soraya with Rick Williams, the famous newscaster
from Channel 6 - ABC "ACTION NEWS" in Philadelphia.

Channel 6 Action News (Philadelphia) venerable
broadcasting star JIM GARDNER speaks...

Soraya having a conversation backstage.