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Tambourines and tannoura – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

Tambourines and tannoura

To play the castanets, to really play the castanets, one must have a personality that is bigger than all of the room.

It is the same with the zills.

It must be a personality so expansive and enshrouding that it mutes the collective ear-drum drubbing of the mazamir and slows down the systole-diastole of the daff until all you hear is the clap of brass on brass.

Click here to see more photographs of the tannoura performance at the Wikala al-Ghouri in Cairo.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

2 thoughts on “Tambourines and tannoura”

  1. i love LOVE the Zills. have about 8 pairs of them different sizes. after 4 years of belly dancing. I can keep a slow beat but have yet to learn to master them

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