Demonstrations hit the dance floor as Egyptian hipsters protest in style
After Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi introduced a controversial decree last month, granting himself sweeping new powers, protestors took to the streets night-and-day to voice their discontent. But away from the presidential palace and Tahrir square, some Egyptians have been taking a more comfortable route to opposing the constitution.
Tear gas and placards were replaced by smoke machines and cocktails when the 'protest trend' hit the Egyptian capital's hottest clubs. For Cairo's privileged youth, their qualms with Morsi's new powers are best voiced to a beat.
Like demonstrators on the streets, these protesting party-goers have been speaking out for change. Their voices don’t have to compete with loyalists or regime forces but they do have to rise above the DJ’s playlist to be heard.
In one of the capital's night spots, the Nile Maxim, young activists have been rallying together, fearful that Morsi's new constitution, set to be voted on in just a few days, could put an end to their cosmopolitan party lifestyles.
While protestors elsewhere in the country had to battle against rival demonstrations from Muslim Brotherhood supporters, cocktails, clubbing gear and cranked-up tunes meant Islamists didn't want to go anywhere near the Nile Maxim's 'demonstration'.
Ali el-Shalaqani, a young lawyer decked out in leather, told AFP: “I’d say 90 percent of the constitution doesn’t pose any problem. It’s the other 10 percent that is really worrying.
“There is no mention anywhere of social justice. But more than anything, the constitution will let Sharia [fundamentalist Islamic law] have more sway over society,” he said.
Like many of his fellow clubbers, Shalaqani took to the streets early last year as part of the uprising that ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
This time round, the young activists warn that they are prepared to take their demonstrations off the dance floor and into the streets once again.
"With Mubarak, we saw we can change things. We're no longer afraid," a 23-year-old clubber told AFP.
The most important thing for these protesting partiers is maintaining their liberal lifestyles and, if it comes to the crunch, many of them are prepared to protest like its 2011 to crash Morsi's party.
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