Dance when you are Perfectly Free: The Egyptian Mevlevi

All in white and barefoot, the Sufi chanter Amer El-Touni entered the stage of the Space of Culture. With his band, the Egyptian Sufi presented a mixture of music, dance and poems of the Mevlevi, one of the most famous Sufi orders. El-Touni is the founder of the Egyptian Mevlevi order that aims to revive the Sufi heritage and spreading it among the world. With great fervor, he sang and recited the words of famous Sufi masters like Al-Hallaj and Ibn al-Farid.

As many other Mevlevis in the Islamic world, the Egyptian one also follows the 13th-century Persian poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, whom the Sufis name their master. One of his famous quotes says: “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” Dancing, especially whirling, became a characteristic of the Mevlevis. The Sufis consider it as a kind of a spiritual meditation that resembles the revolving planets around their center, the sun – reminding us to realize, our souls as the center of our being.

Amer El-Touni presented tranquil as well as rhythmic tones that even encouraged the audience to dance too. Besides many students and SEKEM co-workers, also guest from outside attended the Sufi show, for instance a group of visitors from SEKEMs partner Oikocredit.

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