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which protesters had stormed and attempted to torch in December after Morsi adopted extensive powers he has since repealed.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.

 

Qatar says state news agency hacked

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results

Tunisia's 2.1% GDP growth marks economic upturn

Trump meets Palestinian leader in Bethlehem

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack

WHO says 315 cholera deaths in Yemen in under one month

Trump seeks Israeli-Palestinian peace, lashes out at Iran again

Tunisia police use tear gas on protesters

Palestinians protest for hunger-striking prisoners

GCC and Arab League call for Yemen unity

Turkey's alleged coup ringleaders stand trial

Iran’s reformists sweep to power across major cities

Israel makes concessions to Palestinians 'at Trump's request'

Ivanka hales Saudi progress on women’s rights

Looming showdown between Egypt’s president, judges

Netanyahu says will discuss peace efforts with Trump

Bahrain sentences Shiite cleric to suspended jail term

Trump scandals no issue for Saudi says minister

Saudi women celebrate easing of guardianship system, call for more freedoms

Hamas sentences three to death for commander assassination

Rouhani faces fight with hardliners in US, Iran after election win

Trump to urge Muslim leaders to fight extremism in major speech

Trump tells Sisi he will soon visit Egypt

US, Saudi agree arms deals worth almost $110 billion

Iran's Rouhani wins re-election

Egypt marks MS804 crash with ceremony and no information

Trump lands in Riyadh on first foreign tour

IS bombing kills 35 in Iraq

US Pentagon plans to 'annihilate' IS

Dictator's nephew apologises to Tunisia for corruption

Trump heads to Saudi Arabia as domestic scandals mount

Ebrahim Raisi: hardline challenger in Iran

US and Saudi Arabia blacklist Hezbollah 'terrorist'