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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Iqa Tishrub
A New Egyptian Drum Rhythm!



Thanks to Sahra Kent, I can introduce you to a new Egyptian drum rhythm. It's called "Iqa Tishrub", and it goes like this:

DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...
DOM DOM karkaday, DOM karkaday! Sahleb...

If you don't know Arabic, you might need a bit of explanation. Here goes:

  • "Iqa" means "drum rhythm"
  • "Tishrub" means "beverage"

Therefore, the name of the rhythm, "Iqa Tishrub", means "Beverage Rhythm".

Dom, karkaday, and sahla are all beverages that are available in Egypt. Dom is made from the fruit of the dom tree. Karkaday is hibiscus tea. Sahleb is a cream-based hot drink. All are delicious.

I think Sahra's "Iqa Tishrub" is a MUCH more fun name for this rhythm than "baladi" or "masmoudi saghir", don't you?

Shira Standing on a Drum



About the Contributor

Sahra Kent came up with the idea for "Iqa Tishrub" when we were in Egypt, in a Nubian village near Aswan drinking dom, karkaday, and sahleb.

Sahra started her bellydance career at the Arabic nightclub, The Cascades, in Los Angeles, CA. While she had always been interested in the intersection of culture and dance (her Bachelors was in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology), a need to grow as a dancer sent her to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) where she pursued a Masters degree in Dance Ethnology.

Through the course of her study, she had the amazing good fortune to find a great friend and mentor in her program, Farida Fahmy. When the time came to begin research for her thesis on the Zeffat al’Arusah, Farida encouraged her to come to Cairo and pursue that research in person.

While in Egypt she received a contract performing dance at the Meridian-Heliopolis 5-star hotel, which she held for nearly 6 years. Her position as a local dancer gave her an amazing springboard to learn about the zeffah, and so much more.

Sahra now teaches and dances around the world, sharing her theories on dance in Egypt, the regions, the “tables”, and the way everything fits together. She is constantly conducting more research with two trips to Egypt each year, every time hunting for that next “puzzle piece” that will reveal ever more about the dance, and the culture, that she fell in love with over 30 years ago.

For information about Sahra's Journey Through Egypt program and other current projects, see her web site at

Sahra Kent



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