No, we’re not promoting yet another viral "Harlem Shake" video. We promise. But is it possible the song that has inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of imitators could be spurring a "Harlem Shake" cultural revolution in the Middle East?
CNN’s Jason Miks raises the question, pointing out a number of cases in which "Harlem Shake" videos have been investigated by the governments of Tunisia and Egypt. Those investigations have led to even more "Harlem Shake" videos made in protest of the investigations.
Young people across Egypt have clearly been inspired by the viral video sensation, with no shortage of "Harlem Shake" videos popping up in a YouTube search. However, a group of students were arrested after filming a "Harlem Shake" video in front of the pyramids. That led to a protest video filmed in front of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.
Ironically, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood took part in his own "Harlem Shake" parody video, which subsequently was removed from YouTube after complaints from the Brotherhood.
In Tunisia, similar "Harlem Shake" videos were investigated by the country’s minister of education. And the response from the country’s youth? Filming and releasing an avalanche of additional "Harlem Shake" videos.
"This dance for us represents a way to vent, to forget for a little while all the stress we've been under for the past year," Sabiha, a 21-year-old student who took part in one of the protest videos, told ABC News.
So, whether you love or hate the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon, it’s hard not to be moved by these tales of the world’s youth using the power of video and music to promote freedom in their homelands.