The case of the Egyptian child Abdel Rahman Tariq was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 20 months, and it seemed that his future will be full of difficulties and pain.
Now, nearly ten years later, the recovering 11-year-old has resorted to a tanoura dance to boost his spirits.
Tanoura dance is a common Sufi ritual in Egypt in which dancers rotate in wide skirts, usually woven from wool for hours as they stand on a fixed point.
The robe, although heavy, is useful in maintaining balance and in giving a dynamic effect to movement. The boy is from Tanta, Gharbia governorate, north of Cairo. He began practicing tanoura dancing at a very young age, but was only able to dance for real after completing his rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy a year ago.
The boy has been cured of cancer, but the disease may come back and he still has body and muscle aches, fever and general weakness. But the pain did not stop him from pursuing his dream. And he said, “I was young, I used to take chemotherapy, and my sisters used to send me videos of theirs while they were learning the skirt that I accompanied, and I told my sisters that I wanted to learn it.
He added, “Before I learned the skirt all the time, I was asleep and did not move. I didn’t have a goal. When I learned the skirt, I still had a goal to walk in and learned many needs. I stayed myself. I don’t want to stay on the bed. I still want to get up and move and have energy.”
Abd al-Rahman’s mother, Hanan Mahrous (42 years old), referring to her son’s condition before he started dancing, said Abd al-Rahman before the skirt was doing nothing. She adds that when he was asked to move, he refused because there was no goal. When his brothers taught him to dance the tanoura, he felt that he had a goal, as he managed to reach the stage, and he began to love acting, which encouraged him and raised his spirits.
She added, “Abdel-Rahman is a destiny that conquers cancer through his love for art … This love has turned into a cure, and I say that the treatment should be psychological, not organic.” Psychotherapy is very important at this stage. ”
Abdel-Rahman is now receiving lessons in Tanoura dance and acting, which were given to him free of charge by director Haitham Hassan who works in a small theater on Imad al-Din Street in Cairo. Abdul Rahman aspires to study and master traditional dance professionally.
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