Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Dance

Syria’s Radical Dabka

A clip circulating on YouTube begins with two sets of feet stepping on a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, defaced with a blood-red X and tossed on the ground. It soon becomes apparent that “dirty Asad” lies inside a ring of protesters, who circle the head shot stomping rhythmically — on the downbeat, in repeated or alternating steps that rock backward and forward, left and right — to a rollicking tune in the background. The video is captioned, “The Sweetest and Finest of Syrian Dabka.” [1]

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