Famed Egyptian singer, Sherine Abdel-Wahab has been banned from performing in her home country following her alleged comment on Egypt‘s lack of respect for freedom of speech. The ban comes from The Musician’s Syndicate, a union led by artist Hany Shaker which licenses singers to perform in Egypt.
The singer, who goes by her first name, is the host for the Arabic version of ‘The Voice’ and while at a recent concert in Bahrain, was caught on video allegedly defaming Egypt. Sherine who has since apologized for what she said was a joke, appealed to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in an interview that aired on TV late Friday, March 22. “I am very tired. I made a mistake. I am sorry. I appeal the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who is our father. I feel that I was persecuted. I did nothing. I love Egypt,” she said.
The complaint against Sherine was filed by a pro-government lawyer, Samir Sabry as he accused her of “insulting Egypt and inviting suspicious rights groups to interfere in Egypt’s affairs.” This is not Sherine’s first row with the Egyptian authorities. On many previous occasions, the singer has taken flak and even imprisoned for similar utterances. Last year, Sherine was sentenced to six months in prison for suggesting that the Nile river was polluted.