Jewish National Fund

The American Dream of Amira Mor

By: Gad Nashon

"Someone told me that Arab newspapers claimed that I am an Israeli Mossad's agent, but I am just an Israeli girl that made a name for herself as a belly dancer" the beautiful exotic black-eyed Amira Mor at Broadway Dinner, the popular restaurant on Broadway and 50th Street in Manhattan told me.

Amira Mor, like many newcomers to this country, had to struggle in order to find her place under the sun. But today she feels as someone who did fulfill her American dream. Amira Mor is one of America's most popular belly dancers and a unique performer as well. She turned belly dancing into an art and a new accepted field of entertainment. She is not a pioneer in this field, but she revolutionized it by developing her unique "Amira Mor's Style." She has performed non-stop in clubs, jazz shows, Atlantic City, festivals, shows, private parties and M.T.V. She almost made it to the famous film "Striptease" (Demi Moore).

Amira Mor is a serious and modest young woman and a great mother to her two lovely children. She is a mature person who fights to give her profession the best image as a true art. "I am going to establish in Queens the best school of belly dancing with 48 professional teachers. They will teach, first of all, the secrets of my style. My style is based on integration between the old classical belly dancing and elements taken from modern dance, Flamenco, Indian dances and Brazilian music. I developed the various improvisions and I am always looking for new, creative styles. My unique style is rich with physical, as well as emotional- spiritual elements. And when I dance, whenever I perform, I feel free at last, a free woman mentally" said Ms. Mor, who radiates warmth.

Who are the admirers? "Most of them are Israelis, Arabs, Indians, Armenians, Iranians and Turkish crowd. I already performed in America, Germany, Japan and, said to say, I did not have a chance to perform in my country, Israel."

Amira Mor was born into an Iraqi family in Jerusalem. She studied in Israel, but at age 18, she decided to visit this country. She felt a need to express herself as a dancer. One day she decided to learn belly dancing in New York. She also felt that she must be a performer.

"There is a personal story. For ten years I suffered because of problems resulting from my marriage. In a way, the belly dancing was my frontier. At last I got my divorce. The belly dancing saved my soul. I was reborn into a serious person as a mother. The dancing was my therapy. Now, when I dance, I feel close to God and pure." Ms. Mor is a star. "I dare to do things on the stage that no other belly dancer will dare to do. I never repeat myself. I always look for the new dance. I prepare my act well and choreograph everything with a stress on my clothes," said Mor.

She was covered by the ethnic media and by many publications, such as the Village Voice. The reasons for this media attention are many: M.T.V. with Led Zeppelin, M.T.V. with Spin Doctor, Jazz Festival in Germany. She participated in a few movies and performed with many Middle Eastern stars, such as Nur Mahana, the most popular singing star in this area.

She is a must to many Middle Eastern events and also an Indian events in Queens. She is very excited because of her sudden popularity and she is also committed to contribute to belly dancing as an art. "Many people do not understand the essence of the belly dancing as an art. Originally it was, thousands of years ago, a fertility kind of dance, so the stress was on the belly part of the body. But today we stress all of our body or the knees, for example. There is also an emotional-mental aspect to this dance.

Therefore, often I dance alone in my house. But even on the stage I am alone. Today, belly dancing is a popular entertainment kind of art, but in the past it was performed only in the courts of the kings. There is a story that Mohamad Ali, the ruler of Egypt in the 1830's, exiled all the belly dancers to an island and there the women, in order not to starve, performed on the market. Shuk, and the guys, paid by bluing money as a tip, to their belly. Well, today dancers are being paid and get the tips too...," remarked Mor.


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