First Published: 2013-03-01

 

'Harlem Shake' craze comes to Egypt

 

Dozens of protesters do "Harlem Shake" outside Muslim Brotherhood' Cairo headquarters.

 

Middle East Online

By Ines Bel Aiba - CAIRO

Egyptians emulate Tunisians on taking up the dance as a form of protest against Islamists

A dance craze that began in an Australian teenager's bedroom landed on the doorstep of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Thursday, with dozens of protesters doing the "Harlem Shake" outside the ruling Islamists' Cairo headquarters.

Around 70 protesters, mostly men, performed the dance after chanting slogans against the Islamists, who had propelled President Mohamed Morsi to his election victory last June.

The chaotic pelvis-thrusting dance has been mimicked across the world after a group of Australian teenagers uploaded a video of themselves dancing the "Harlem Shake" in early February.

Youths in Egypt and Tunisia have taken up the dance as a form of protest against Islamists, two years after uprisings in both countries toppled veteran dictators but brought in divisive Islamist-led governments.

"Down with the supreme guide's rule," the protesters chanted after finishing the dance, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood's religious leader Mohammed Badie.

"The message is clear," said Farid Sayyed, one of the organisers.

"We are against the policies of the Brotherhood. Their guidance bureau (or ruling council) dictates government policy, not the presidency. The revolution continues."

Several riot police trucks and a fire engine were deployed at the Islamists' headquarters, which protesters had stormed and attempted to torch in December after Morsi adopted extensive powers he has since repealed.

But Thursday's protest remained peaceful, with some dancers arriving dressed as Islamists and another wearing a Mickey Mouse mask.

Although it was the first such performance outside the Brotherhood's headquarters, the dance craze had already arrived in Egypt.

A group of Egyptians posted videos of themselves on YouTube doing the "Harlem Shake" in front of the Giza pyramids, with one of them, wearing white underwear and a bow tie, dancing while riding a camel.

Last week, police said they arrested four students who stripped to their underwear and performed the dance in a quiet middle class Cairo neighbourhood, after shocked residents tried to assault the students.

In Tunisia, students and radical Islamists scuffled on Thursday after the students tried to film themselves dancing in the city of Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the Arab Spring revolts, with similar scuffles taking place in the capital.

A number of social media sites run by Salafists and other Islamist groups have denounced the "Harlem Shake" as indecent, with participants smoking, dancing wildly and simulating sexual acts.

Defiant youth activists have put out a call for a mega "Harlem Shake" to be staged on Friday in front of the education ministry in Tunis.

 

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim