Welcome and MERRY XMAS
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We want to send each and everyone of you all the joy and shimmies in the world over this festive season! Another year has passed and we have enjoyed producing the Zameena newsletter, sending out goodies from the Zara's Zouk online shop and attending  amazing haflas and meeting so many of you in person!
An Announcement And Thank You Message To Our Customers
So a many of you know (and some may not) I have been studying for my PhD in Physics for the past 4 years. This month I finally finished and passed successfully. I included a BIG THANK YOU to you all in the acknowledgments of my thesis (see below). Without the bellydance community and all of the Zara's Zouk customers - I COULD NOT HAVE DONE MY PHD - THANK YOU SO MUCH! :

A wonderful fabric:
it’s opulent; it’s colourful. 
Can you guess what it is?
It’s velvet!

For many years, velvet, especially red velvet with a white trim, has epitomised Christmas for me. I love the lush feel of the plush so imagine how excited I was when I recently discovered some fascinating links between velvet, Egypt and the UK which I hope you will find equally interesting.

To start, remnants of a velvet like fabric have been found in Pharaonic tombs and it seems that an early version of velvet was made in Egypt as long ago as 2,000 years BC – Wow!

The link between velvet and Egypt was further strengthened during the Mamluk era (1250-1517) when Cairo was the leading producer of velvet in the world! It was from there that velvet made its way, via the trade routes, to Venice and from there to the rest of Europe.

Woven from silk and expensive to produce it was a fabric for royalty and the very wealthy. They admired its soft, deep pile.  In 1278 King Edward 1’s tailor brought a velvet bed from Paris to England and this is the earliest record of velvet in the UK. It is amazing to think that the first velvet to reach these shores was most probably made in Cairo!

Nowadays, velvet is woven from cotton, linen and man-made fibres as well as silk and is much more affordable. Lycra can also be added to the mix to make a stretch velvet. It's a genuinely luxurious, sensual fabric with a rich history which everyone should indulge in wearing and feel delicious! 

Zara’s Zouk is happy to offer a variety of very velvety items to give a gorgeous touch of luxury and sophistication to your dance wardrobe. We hope you enjoy taking a look:
Wow! - a trio of beautiful, colourful, velvet belts
 always a good, comfortable fit!
Also available extra long!
Beautiful, versatile, stretchy, comfy, velvety sets   come in different styles and sizes!
Emerald green, long sleeved, Arabic dress and
sleeveless over coat with gold thread embroidery.
More beautiful, velvet belts with exquisite beading
and velvet fringing to sway and swirl as you dance!
Not forgetting the men!
Velvet jacket with gold thread embroidery

This is the last edition of Zameena for 2015!
We can't wait to bring you more next year but till then you can check out the 

Write for Zameena
Would you like to write for Zameena in the New Year? It's a great way to promote yourself or any events you have coming up.  It's also a fun way to share your interest and knowledge on any topic related to  bellydance. 
No matter who you are, how long you have been dancing, please don't be shy to give it a try - get in contact about writing an article for Zameena. 
Our guest writers are greatly appreciated and enjoyed by our readers. The personal stories and views are often a source of inspiration. You might want to share a dance or travel experience you have had or advice or tips you have found helpful. Or you might want to share your love for a specific topic area, dance style or dancer. It could even take the form of an interview. We and Zameena readers would love to read your article! 
Write For Zameen

We hope you enjoyed the newsletter and can't wait to see you next year!


Winter Solstice Joy!
Merry Christmas!
y New Year!

Love and shimmies Zara and Sandra xxx

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