Things get shaky in the Mideast as Harlem fans thrust in the face of region's conservatives
Last year, like much of the rest of the world, the Middle East was doing it Gangnam Style. But in 2013, it's bye, bye Psy, hello Harlem Shake, as the region's movers and shakers try and do the latest viral dance craze bigger and better than the rest.
Since a group of Australian teenagers uploaded the 31-second clip, 'The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original)', onto YouTube earlier this month, copycat videos have sprung up everywhere from Dubai to Egypt. But while MENA's movers are embracing the shake, the dance has proved a pelvic-thrust too far for the region's conservatives.
Earlier this week, four Egyptian students were reportedly put behind bars for stripping off for their own version of the dance. And since then police across the arguably prudish region have continued their crackdown on the controversial craze.
However, Harlem's liberal shakers won't be stopped that easily and are fighting for their right to thrust!
Yesterday, things got shaky at a school in Tunisia when a group of Salafis tried to stop a Harlem shoot.
But according to AFP, when the ultra-conservative Muslims showed up at the Bourguiba Language Institute in the El Khadra neighborhood of Tunis - a Salafi bastion - students shouted: “Get out, get out,” until they had driven the party crashers away.
Elsewhere in the country, in Sousse, south of Tunis, students reportedly got up in arms after their principal called the cops in to stop them from staging the dance.
Interior ministry spokesman, Khaled Tarr, told AFP: “The students gathered outside the school, near a hospital, and began igniting smoke bombs.”
“The security forces tried to convince them to put out the smoke bombs, but they refused and threw stones at them and wounded two policemen. The forces of order were obliged to respond with tear gas,” he added.
With the region divided over the Harlem Shake, what began as innocent fun is fast becoming a viable means of protest.
Liberal Egyptians plan to bring the Harlem Shake to the conservative Muslim Brotherhood’s national headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam district on Thursday, while Tunisian's have promised to stage the dance in front of the ministry of education in the country's capital on Friday.
With Harlem fans across the region prepared to take the dance to the top, those in power are left shaking in their boots.
What do you think of the Harlem Shake? Are you behind the conservative crackdown or should MENA's movers be allowed to keep shaking? Share your comments with us below!
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