Photographer Hossam Mohamed and dancer and model Salma El-Shimi were reportedly arrested on Monday after what local media described as “proactive and offensive” photography, as Shimi appeared in front of Djoser’s graded pyramid wearing an Egyptian-style, but not original outfit.
Before his arrest, Muhammad reportedly admitted that Shimi, who has more than 81,000 followers on Instagram, was initially wearing a robe when entering the ancient archaeological site, but removed it when it was time for filming. He also said that several employees saw him and al-Shimi while the photo was being taken, and did not ask to stop twice, he said Eye of the Middle East.
However, Shiemi told the prosecutor that she was not aware that her actions violated any regulations, instead saying that she was planning to use her photos to promote tourism.
Shiemi also briefly removed the photos from her selfie Instagram account, to me Watchman, Although it appears they have since been republished. A short video from filming day also remains visible on her TikTok account.
Middle East Eye reported that the two were released on bail on Tuesday pending the results of the investigation.
Meanwhile, social media users in Egypt had mixed reactions, with some blaming the couple and others asking how their actions differed significantly from the actions of the models or the tourists who took the photos.
Despite this, Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, confirmed to an Egyptian media outlet that anyone arrested for “lack of respect” for the sites would face repercussions.