Thursday, May 17, 2012

Egyptian Vice Police Arrest Belly Dancing TV Station Owner For Facilitating

When I think of Egypt I think of the Pyramids, the Nile and belly dancing. Belly dancing is a traditional, popular dance form that dates back to ancient Egypt, but it's becoming less so as the country spirals downward towards a far more conservative and less tolerant Islam.  Once an enjoyment for all, it has only been accessible (and legal) in high-end hotels and clubs. Then about a year ago Baligh Hamdy started ElTet, a satellite TV station that exclusively broadcast belly dancing for the masses, at least those with access to satellite TV. Apparently Hamdy produced the videos himself, filming the dancers in their colorful skimpy outfits undulating to live music, and would then send the files to partners in Jordan and Bahrain, They would then air those videos on the satellite TV station.  People could tune in 24/7 to watch, until some viewers filed a complaint, and now Hamdy finds himself sitting in jail facing charges on suspicion of "facilitating prostitution", "harming public decency", "inciting licentiousness" and "operating without a license". 

Facilitating prostitution?  Belly dancers are now considered prostitutes? 
Hamdy was arrested by vice police in his flat in Cairo, which subbed as his studio, and now awaits his fate.

What might have gotten Hamdy in trouble, more so than the dancing itself, were the sexual enhancement and "matchmaking" ads he was airing during the broadcasts. Whether they were your typical ads or the "voulez-vous couchez avec moi" escort-type ads, no-one is saying. I can't even imagine how they would deal with the plethora of 'little blue pill' ads that air during dinner time on U.S. networks.  Not that I approve of those ads while young ones are eating their spaghettiOs.

But there are those in Egypt who are dreading what the Islamists in leadership will bring to the table, in terms of censorship. If it's this bad now, I can't begin to imagine what will happen in a few years.
Sources: al Arabiya,WCSC,

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