Al Ashab

Leyla is a member of El Ashab, pronounced “el as-HAAB,” which means “Friends” in Arabic.  El Ashab is indeed a group of friends who perform tableaux, often of a comedic nature, based on and including oriental dance, aka “belly dance,” and other folk dances at festivals and other dance-oriented events in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Members take turns and work as a group to create scenarios and choreographies. Photos below are from the Rakkasah West 2010 ~ El Ashab takes you to “An Evening in a Greek Taverna,” featuring a multi-talented bartender, Greek folk dancers, goddess statues who come to life, an itinerant flower seller (the love interest) and a tourist who becomes a Greek sailor (the lover).

Goddess Zelina, Bubalina, Stefania, Goddess Leyla

Janice the bartender and Alex the Tourist

Dunya Tanya, itinerant flower seller

Alex gets advice from Goddess Leyla while Janice ponders the prescription.

The goddesses descend from their pedestals to dance.

With Janice the Bartender’s sartorial advice, Alex becomes Alexi.