Egypt leader berates ‘Kiki challenge’ participants in jest

July 29, 2018

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2017 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attends a military ceremony in Paris, France. In televised remarks aired Saturday, July 28, 2018, an angry el-Sissi said he is "upset" over recent online postings calling on him to step down over the country's troubled economy. The #Sissi_leave hashtag followed steep price hikes for fuel, drinking water and electricity as part of austerity measures designed to overhaul the economy. (Charles Platiau, Pool via AP, File)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president has laughingly berated Egyptians participating in an online dance challenge in response to the so-called “Kiki challenge” to a song by Canadian singer Drake.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s light-hearted mention Sunday of the dance challenge contrasts with a report last week by Egypt’s official news agency warning that penalties awaited participants in the challenge for endangering lives and violating public decency and traffic laws.

“You keep riding cars and doing Kiki,” el-Sissi said as he uncontrollably laughed. Turning to the oil minister, he jokingly said: “Raise the price of petrol without a worry.” El-Sissi’s government has hiked fuel prices three times since 2016.

The challenge unleashed a social media buzz, with video postings of film stars and sports celebrities dancing alongside slow moving cars going viral.

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