Tag Archives: cairo

Harlem Shake Egyptian Style

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Harlem Shake in Egypt

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.

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Endless Sexual Harassment in Cairo

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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.

Tahrir  Bodyguard

“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 

Egypt: First Presidential Elections

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this is a pure image of Egyptian revolution. Cannot recall where I took this picture from.

Results of local elections are pretty disturbing. The leading candidates of the semi-finals are: Ahmed Shafiq and Mohammed Morsi. Egyptians remember Mr. Shafiq as a former Mubarak’s minister and a “butcher” who did not do much to stop the bloody Battle of the Camels that lasted for 16 hours on Tahrir Square. Mr. Morsi is a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood ORganization. People found themselves between a rock and a hard place: what to do and whom to vote for?

But why all of that happened?

Various candidates participated in the elections: socialists, liberals, religious leaders, etc. the question is: why Mr. Shafiq a pro-Mubarak person was allowed to participate in it? It clearly seems that all the efforts and sacrifices of the revolution were useless. Liberals had various candidates and no unity. They are highly disintegrated and fragmented; they did not nominate one person and voted for him, but had many leaders. This turned out to be their biggest mistake. Votes of intellectuals were divided and spread all over the place: no one got the biggest chunk. This situation is not unique: unfortunately it happens all over the world. Liberal opposition has no uniting idea and no common candidate: one and for all.

While majority of the population remains uneducated and illiterate, the possibilities for manipulation remain widely available. Imagine if someone in the mosque would tell these people to vote for a particular candidate and go to heaven or vote for any other candidate and go to hell. What do you think is going to happen? Or imagine a poor village with people barely making their ends meet, all of a sudden they receive a lot of cooking oil, pasta and rice. Who do you think they will vote for? Or let’s take Coptic Christians who voted for Shaffiq as they were scared of the Muslim rule in the country. I believe no one can blame them for that.

So I look at it and understand that Russia is not very different from Egypt: the same methods of bribery (you can basically get a vote with a bag of rice, flour, sugar (underline) in Egypt, 500 rubles in Russia) and methods of mass manipulation and intimidation during the elections. Also don’t forget about the ubiquitous propaganda and lies on television in Russia.

However, there is one good thing: people here really can not vote more than once because a finger of each and every single person is dipped in ink before the voting, and you cannot get rid of this ink for a week or so. I think this innovative method should be implemented in Russia, otherwise some individuals have a chance (and get paid for it) to vote for United Russia several times.

So the country voted. Who wins remains a mystery, but we are all doomed so far…

love-hate relationship Cairo

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No Harassment By Gigi Ibrahim

No Harassment By Gigi Ibrahim

My life is like a swing here: major ups and major downs. It is a strong love-hate relationship between me and Cairo. I am getting more and more annoyed by the levels of street harassment. When I came here in September I tended not to notice this and everything seemed so fresh and new. Right now I am incredibly annoyed by that.

I feel like I lost my ability to move around on my own: I cannot really use public transportation since there is no convenient system of public transportation. Metro lines are limited and are highly filled with people and sexual harassers. Once some group of guys were taking videos of me standing in the metro. Well those men were also cowards not to look back when I noticed them and they preferred to pretend that they did nothing and nothing was going on.

At the same time, I can have a great time in Cairo: by the pool in some nice club or having shesha at night in a nice restaurant. I believe I would enjoy this country more if men behaved in a better way and I would not need to restrain myself from going out.

I still cannot figure out how this nation came to such an incredible amount of sexual harassment. And it has nothing to do with religion, as Islam does not tell them to go and yell all these ugly things they say to women on streets. To the contrary Islam encourages a nice treatment of women. How come these men grow up and their mothers never tell them that it is wrong to harass women on the streets? How come other men pass by me as I get harassed and say nothing? What is wrong with you people?

What do you think? Why it happens here and how to make it stop? I became a member of a group trying to prevent sexual harassment, but I honestly don’t think it is possible as the population remains incredibly uneducated.