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which protesters had stormed and attempted to torch in December after Morsi adopted extensive powers he has since repealed.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

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations