Georges Hassam

Georges HassamOccupation:
Arabic Dance Instructor
Time in Japan:
2 and a half years

I came to Japan from Lebanon in ' to work at my brother's restaurant in Shinjuku. At first, I was working at the restaurant all day and then going home at night to write material that could be sent back to Lebanon, but after about a year I decided to start teaching oriental music and dance ?traditional forms that originated in Lebanon and Egypt? and things went from there. All kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, are interested in learning, but it is not easy; students need time to improve, and they have to understand the music fully before they can dance well. Gaining this understanding is one of the most important aspects of Arabic dance.

Japanese people seem to love oriental music and dancing. Recently I performed at Yamashita Park with Sadia, an Arabic dancer, and when we finished, the people were screaming for more. Even though most people can't understand the words that are being sung, they still dance, which makes me think this kind of music is universal.

There is no such thing as an average day for me. Sometimes I don't go to bed until three or four o'clock in the morning. If I get an idea for lyrics or music then I have to keep working on it until it is finished, so I often don't get up until the afternoon. If I have a show to do, or if a student is coming to my house, then I get up earlier to make preparations.

In a typical week I'll do four or five shows. Most of them are in Arabic restaurants, but the response is always the same: they won't let us go and make us do encore after encore.

I have never had any real problems here. The only difficult thing for me is finding new ways to make music ?because I can't read kanji, and most of the technology with English instructions is for use outside Japan, it is sometimes hard to find out about new keyboards and other instruments that I use in my work.

In the future, I hope to bring over a singer from Lebanon to do some shows. I enjoy everything about my life in Japan and will stay here for as long as the Japanese people want me to.

Georges Hassan spoke to Richard James

Info: Georges can be contacted at 010-854-9206

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at

199: Diane Morris
Media & Advertising
198: Ross Mihara
NHK Sumo Announcer
196: Corky Alexander
Tokyo Weekender
195: Edward Obaidey
194: Merry Angel
Managing Director
193: Alison Pockett
Managing Partner
192: Zack Konno
Car Export Representive
191: Pamela S. Caudill
Assistant U.S. Customs
190: Caroline Power
Being a Broad
189: Geoffrey Tudor
P.R. Section Chief JAL
188: Ryuko Ishikawa M.D.
Family Psychiatrist
187: Georges Hassam
Arabic Dance Instructor
186: Larry London
DJ at InterFM
185: Richard James
Photographer & Writer
184: Alan Kidd
Rock Musician & Editor
183: Adam Hitchens
Mobile Hairdresser/Masseur
182: Lylian de la Vega
181: Annie Chang
Computer Training
180: Mike Jacobs
179: Jimmy Angel
Rock'n'Roll Singer
178: Dante
177: Elizabeth Spencer
Tokyo Classified Intern
175: Paul E. Ainlay
Proprietor of D.B. Cooper's
174: Steve Bindon
173: Nanae Nagata & Naji Rahman
Proprietors of Heart Cocktail
172: Tom Holiday
171: Gordon Hutchingson
170: Barry Cardinal
Renshi Aikido Instructor
169: Tammy
168: Steve Feldman
Computer Dealer
167: Eve Suter
Flower Designer
166: Paul Goldsmith
Computer/H.R. Consultant
165: Avry Gottesman
Auto Dealer
164: Russell Pollard
Financial Advisor
163: Sa'dia
Belly Dancer
162: Marcel L'Esperance
Choral Director
161: Gregg Alan
Used Motorcycle/Car Dealer
160: Dr. Greg Sapplers OMD
Oriental Medical Doctor
159: Ute Ikuta
Cat Lover
158: Pam Adkins
Shaw College
157: Cloudy Bong Water
156: Melissa
Internet Company Director
155: Paul Gibson
Proprietor, The Fiddler Pub
154: Ann Spiers
153: Evans M. Asare
152: Sandy Weiss
Acting Teacher
150: Kike

Issues 300-360

Issues 250-299
Issues 200-249
Issues 138-149