Harlem Shake in Egypt
I am sure a lot of people have already seen various versions of the Harlem Shake. The video went viral and some people tried to imitate the same dance style in their countries. Egypt is not an exception. Various activists jumped on the bandwagon of fame in their attempt to create their version of “Harlem Shakes” made in Egypt.
Below you will find one of the Harlem Shakes performed in front of the pyramids in Giza. Local security guards tried to stop the performance, but they failed miserably.
After several videos were uploaded, some people got arrested for public display of nudity. CBN News reports the following:
CAIRO – Egyptian police said Saturday they have arrested four students who filmed themselves publicly dancing in their underwear, as more people around the world emulate a viral dance craze called the “Harlem Shake.”
The four pharmaceutical students shocked residents of a middle class Cairo neighborhood when they removed most of their clothes and videotaped themselves performing the pelvis-thrusting dance, a police official said.
The response of the authorities is not only ridiculous, but is also very hypocritical. They should start arresting all the female tourists who come to see the pyramids in their tank tops and skimpy shorts. If this type of clothing is unacceptable in the city, then everyone should follow the same rules. And maybe they should also ban all the bikinis on the Red Sea resorts.
As a response some activists decided to organize another Harlem Shake in front of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters on February 28, 2013. Almost 1500 clicked “going” on their Facebook page [arabic]. It might be a success and it might be a disaster. The time will show.
It is not a secret that the level of sexual harassment in Egypt has skyrocketed after the revolution. Some people still pretend that it does not happen and claim that it is a normal practice that happens everywhere in the world. Well this faulty argument still does not make it OK.
Today I got harassed by a bunch of school girls on the streets of Cairo. It is incredibly frustrating and sad that women harass other women, hence tolerate this kind of behavior in their own country. The girls were passing by when I was sitting in the car with an open window. They saw me and started cat-calling. One of them even touched me. I simply looked different, that’s why they felt entitled to harass me.
The society does not see anything wrong with this kind of behavior. A lot of men believe that women enjoy cat-calling and groping. They consider it a nice gesture. I once was on the plain with two Egyptian guys who truly believed that women secretly enjoy being harassed.
In spite of all this madness a lot of people try tackling the issue. A lot of women get harassed on the famous Tahrir Square. As the government does not do anything about it, different activists decided to take a stand. Some volunteers organized self-defense trainings for women.
“Women have the right to protest in the square and we are here to protect them and help them protect themselves,” representatives of Tahrir Bodyguard say.
The group’s latest initiative involves helping women to protect themselves, not only on Tahrir Square, but all over Cairo. Through Tahrir Bodyguard’s volunteers, a group of self-defense instructors and the Samia Allouba Gym and Fitness Center, women all over Cairo will have the opportunity to learn self-defense moves and techniques.
These kinds of initiatives encourage women to fight back and end the impunity of this male-dominated society. Who knows, maybe things will change soon.
Source: Egypt Independent