And now a cautionary tale about why you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.
Back in the 1990s, the European band Noor Shimaal put out an album of North African music. In Arabic, “noor” means “light” and “shimaal” means “north” so roughly translated “noor shimaal” is “northern light”. My friend, Zara Noor (Terri Massa), thought “Noor Shimaal” would be a great name for the Alaskan Middle Eastern (belly dance) troupe she was part of. And thereby hangs a tale. But let’s let Terri tell you the rest of the story:
“Years ago some online music reporter stumbled across my website and read that I was a founding member of the dance troupe Noor Shimaal in Fairbanks, Alaska. This genius then managed to confuse the dance troupe Noor Shimaal with the music group Noor Shimaal (not based in Fairbanks) and wrote an article that proclaimed me the founder of the internationally known Middle Eastern music ensemble. The article liberally reference the information from my website. (Apparently, I’ve also worked with many world-famous musicians which definitely was not on my website). I contacted the company that ran the music news website, but they never corrected it. Now that erroneous piece of information has been copied and recopied over the last decade and has made it as far as Asia [look at the biography on the left hand side]. Almost all the way back to Alaska.
I am famous. Just not for anything that I’ve actually done.”
For the record, while Terri has in fact founded two Middle Eastern dance troupes, she has never founded an international Middle Eastern music ensemble. Check out her website here. She has never worked with famous musicians like George Abdo and Hossam Ramzy although she wishes she had.
The music group, Noor Shimaal, has a great CD called “Where Africa Meets the Orient” (buy it here) which I highly recommend. They have no connection to Alaska or Terri–something a simple check of the album cover would have revealed. Just to make it interesting, however, Amel Tafsout, formerly a member of the band Noor Shimaal, is currently living in the Pacific Northwest. As Terri puts it, “she’s tracking me down.”