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    Tunisians Defend Students’ Right to “Harlem Shake”

    By Roua Khlifi | Feb 26 2013 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

    Tags: Harlem Shake , Imam Moslem , Père Blanc , third-featured , TnGov ,

    After the Minister of Education announced yesterday that he would launch an investigation into the filmed performance of the “Harlem Shake” at a Tunis high school, students protested outside the school and anonymous supporters hacked the ministry’s website.

    Students of Imam Moslem high school, also known as Père Blanc, where the video was filmed Saturday, refused to attend classes Monday. Last night, hackers left an internet meme with a troll face asking “YOU MAD?” on the ministry’s website and dedicated their efforts to the students of Imam Moslem.

    Meanwhile, Souad Abderrahim, a National Constituent Assembly member from the Ennahdha party, told Shems FM radio yesterday that her son participated in the Imam Moslem Harlem Shake and criticized the politicization of the issue. Though she largely defended the dance, she pointed to some “violations” in the Harlem Shake without going into further detail.

    “As a mother and a politician, I believe dance is a form of expression and creativity, but I denounce some of the violations that happened,” she said. “Most pupils were there to watch a dance that is popular around the world. There were no major violations like violent incidents, but there were some acts that were provocative to some, and I apologize not for the dance, which is a form of expression, but for the violations that happened.”

    Abderrahim said the decision to take any action against those responsible should be left to the administration of the high school.

    “The son of this politician participated and another political group felt offended by the dance when the pupils wanted it to be a spontaneous form of expression,” she said. “Though we belong to different political groups, let’s leave the educational institutions outside these conflicts. Young people make mistakes, which should not be dealt with this way.”

    Education Minister Abdellatif Abid has claimed that the Harlem Shake dance was a violation against the educational system and that students did not seek proper permission to perform the dance.

  • By Roua Khlifi  / 
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      Publicola /

      These students prove to the public and to the world
      that sanity – in other words: humour, wit, irony, fun, banter, life – is possible against all odds.

      Tunisia ought to be proud of its young people!

    1. elMisses /

      For heaven sakes leave it alone. The participating students could appear before the school’s disciplinary council and get three days off just to prove that the behavior really wasn’t acceptable and shouldn’t be repeated on school property. But Mr Abdellatif Abid really has more important things to do than chase down those kids. In fact, major punishment risks setting of a major reaction that could become very regrettable in this day and age. Leave it alone.

    2. Patrick Batchelder /

      What is a “appropriate” and “not appropriate” judgement or violation? In a free country “appropriate” is in the eye of the beholder, not in the religious rules. If someone is “offended” by this “dance” it should be their “right” to be offended but it is also their “choice” and has nothing to do with condemning some lawful action – a dance. This “outrage” reminds me of “civil society” 100 years ago when Western women cut their hair short and their “elders” were scandalized. How silly.

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