TUNIS — The Arab revolutions are going through a rough patch, from political uncertainty in North Africa to daily massacres in Syria. Egypt appears, at times, on the brink of either economic collapse or a military coup. Tunisia is still reeling from a political assassination and may face prolonged instability, as negotiations for the formation of a new government unfold with little chance of a consensus emerging. Many ordinary citizens in both countries are depressed and disoriented.
But at least they haven’t lost their sense of humor.
The latest meme to take over both Egyptian and Tunisian social media involves filming a silly dance to the Harlem Shake, an electronic tune by the American D.J. Baauer, and uploading the result to YouTube. The trend started in Australia, but it has spread to the Middle East, with a twist: It is getting people arrested or in trouble, turning it into a new genre of political protest.