Local teenage scene in Fujairah
As reported by The National
On a recent Saturday evening, a group of Emirati break-dancers who call themselves the Crip Killers crew – named after a violent street gang that originated in Los Angeles – prepare to face off against local rivals.Lots of picture accompany the story.
As the bass of the Shop Boyz rap song Party Like a Rockstar thunders from the subwoofer speakers of a customised Honda Accord, a scrum of other hyped-up teenagers encircles the Crip Killers.
Wearing headbands, white trainers and jean shorts, they stare down the rival crew until one slender teenager steps into the circle shimmying his shoulders and performing headstands and front and back flips, the opening salvo in a dance battle.
“We want to be like Americans – but we can’t,” says Ali Abdullah, 18, an Emirati student at a military academy and member of the Crip Killers. “I only dance to hip hop – I love it.”
A dancer from the opposing crew, Mohammed Hamdan, 17, a former gymnast, steals the show with high-flying back flips.
Although kids from all backgrounds take part, there is general agreement in the crowd that the Emirati dancers are best. “They’re better than me, man, they’re better,” Abdullah, 15, an Iraqi, says ruefully after the other dancers race off in their expensive Hummers and sport utility vehicles.
As Khamis looks on, a group of teenagers walks by wearing bright yellow T-shirts emblazoned with silver dollar bill signs.
“Wearing those kinds of clothes is comfortable for them,” Khamis says. “But trust me, when they’re 18, they’ll go back to wearing kanduras.”
According to the twentysomething generation of Emirati men, however, something odd is happening to their break-dancing younger brothers.