It is the latest Internet phenomenon that has the world laughing, but in Egypt the Harlem Shake has caught the imagination of revolutionaries who are using it as a new way to challenge the country’s new Islamist rulers.
“It’s a funny way to protest how [the Muslim Brotherhood] have taken control of the country,” said law student Tarek Badr, 22, who was one of more than 100 thrusting their hips in front of the political movement’s Cairo headquarters on Thursday. “People won’t be silent. They will protest in all ways and this is a peaceful way.”
Organizer Noor al Mahalaawi, a 22-year-old engineering student, and three friends started a group that they have dubbed the “Satiric Revolutionary Struggle”.
The group intends to stage innovative weekly protests in front of the party headquarters, which will be posted on its increasingly popular Facebook page.
“People are very supportive,” Mahalaawi said. “It’s a change from violence to sarcasm and it’s peaceful. There has been enough blood, enough arrests, enough trials.”
He said the message to the party was that many Egyptians “do not like their way of rule… with human-rights violations every day.”
After their Harlem Shake ended, participants took up the new revolutionary chant: “The people want the fall of the ‘Murshid’ [the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood].”
An impromptu conga line snaked through crowd shouting, “Leave, leave, leave.”
— Charlene Gubash, “How The Harlem Shake Is Being Used To Push For Change In Egypt,” NBCNEWS.com