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Egypt singer Mohamed Ramadan faces lawsuit over photo with Israelis Egypt singer Mohamed Ramadan faces lawsuit over photo with Israelis
(about 1 hour later)
The Israeli government shared a photo of Mohamed Ramadan and Israeli footballer Diaa SabaThe Israeli government shared a photo of Mohamed Ramadan and Israeli footballer Diaa Saba
An Egyptian court will next month hear a case against a prominent singer who was photographed posing with two Israeli celebrities at a Dubai party.An Egyptian court will next month hear a case against a prominent singer who was photographed posing with two Israeli celebrities at a Dubai party.
A lawyer has filed a suit accusing Mohamed Ramadan of "insulting the Egyptian people" with the images, which were condemned by many Arabs online after Israel's government shared them.A lawyer has filed a suit accusing Mohamed Ramadan of "insulting the Egyptian people" with the images, which were condemned by many Arabs online after Israel's government shared them.
The syndicate of Egyptian artists also said it was suspending his membership.The syndicate of Egyptian artists also said it was suspending his membership.
The 32-year-old insisted he had not known the celebrities' nationalities.The 32-year-old insisted he had not known the celebrities' nationalities.
Egypt and Israel fought four wars before they signed a peace treaty in 1979. However, relations between the neighbours are still at times tense. Egypt and Israel fought five wars before they signed a peace treaty in 1979. However, relations between the neighbours are still at times tense.
In recent months, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed agreements with Israel to normalise relations. Sudan has also said it will do so.In recent months, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed agreements with Israel to normalise relations. Sudan has also said it will do so.
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On Saturday, the official Arabic Facebook and Twitter pages of the State of Israel shared a photo of Ramadan hugging Israeli singer Omer Adam at an event in a rooftop bar in Dubai.On Saturday, the official Arabic Facebook and Twitter pages of the State of Israel shared a photo of Ramadan hugging Israeli singer Omer Adam at an event in a rooftop bar in Dubai.
The image was credited to an Emirati journalist and captioned: "Art always brings us together."The image was credited to an Emirati journalist and captioned: "Art always brings us together."
الفن دوما يجمعنا.. عرض الإعلامي الإماراتي حمد المزروعي صورة للنجم المصري محمد رمضان مع المطرب الإسرائيلي عومير آدام في دبي 🇮🇱🇪🇬🇦🇪 pic.twitter.com/sv4X3r5nUbالفن دوما يجمعنا.. عرض الإعلامي الإماراتي حمد المزروعي صورة للنجم المصري محمد رمضان مع المطرب الإسرائيلي عومير آدام في دبي 🇮🇱🇪🇬🇦🇪 pic.twitter.com/sv4X3r5nUb
Another post featured a photo of Ramadan with Israeli footballer Diaa Saba.Another post featured a photo of Ramadan with Israeli footballer Diaa Saba.
A short video clip also circulated online appearing to show people dancing to the Jewish folk song Hava Nagila at the party attended by Ramadan.A short video clip also circulated online appearing to show people dancing to the Jewish folk song Hava Nagila at the party attended by Ramadan.
The photos sparked outrage on social media, with many accusing him of "betraying" the Palestinians. The hashtag "Mohamed Ramadan is a Zionist" trended on Twitter.The photos sparked outrage on social media, with many accusing him of "betraying" the Palestinians. The hashtag "Mohamed Ramadan is a Zionist" trended on Twitter.
Egyptian journalist and MP Mustafa Bakry tweeted: "Mohamed Ramadan, the Upper Egyptian artist, is hugging a Zionist singer and [thereby] losing his genuine Arab audience. What a loss."Egyptian journalist and MP Mustafa Bakry tweeted: "Mohamed Ramadan, the Upper Egyptian artist, is hugging a Zionist singer and [thereby] losing his genuine Arab audience. What a loss."
Addressing Ramadan, he added: "Did you not know that there is an Arab population that was displaced from their lands and that their lands were occupied and their sanctities desecrated."Addressing Ramadan, he added: "Did you not know that there is an Arab population that was displaced from their lands and that their lands were occupied and their sanctities desecrated."
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Ramadan rejected the criticism in a tweet on Sunday and accused critics of trying to "stop my success and popularity".Ramadan rejected the criticism in a tweet on Sunday and accused critics of trying to "stop my success and popularity".
"I don't ask which country the person who wants to take a photo with me comes from unless they say themselves," he wrote."I don't ask which country the person who wants to take a photo with me comes from unless they say themselves," he wrote.
He also shared a video of him posing with a Palestinian man at what appeared to be the same venue in Dubai, in which he said he had extended "my greetings to the brotherly Palestinian people".He also shared a video of him posing with a Palestinian man at what appeared to be the same venue in Dubai, in which he said he had extended "my greetings to the brotherly Palestinian people".
مابسألش عن بلد اللي بيتصور إلا لو هو لوحده قال وده ڤيديو في نفس الوقت ونفس المكان مع شاب فلسطيني!! وبوجه فيه تحية للشعب الفلسطيني الشقيق !! تجاهل البعض لهذا الڤيديو يأكد ان القصد ليس القضية الفلسطينية ولكن قضيتهم الحقيقية هي المحاولة ال١٠٠٠ لإيقاف نجاحيوشعبيتي #ثقه_في_الله_نجاح pic.twitter.com/UxMniEwXcqمابسألش عن بلد اللي بيتصور إلا لو هو لوحده قال وده ڤيديو في نفس الوقت ونفس المكان مع شاب فلسطيني!! وبوجه فيه تحية للشعب الفلسطيني الشقيق !! تجاهل البعض لهذا الڤيديو يأكد ان القصد ليس القضية الفلسطينية ولكن قضيتهم الحقيقية هي المحاولة ال١٠٠٠ لإيقاف نجاحيوشعبيتي #ثقه_في_الله_نجاح pic.twitter.com/UxMniEwXcq
Ramadan's defence of his actions did not stop Egyptian lawyer Tareq Mahmoud filing a lawsuit, which will be heard by a court in Cairo on 19 December.Ramadan's defence of his actions did not stop Egyptian lawyer Tareq Mahmoud filing a lawsuit, which will be heard by a court in Cairo on 19 December.
The Union of Artistic Syndicates also said on Facebook that it was suspending Ramadan's membership until he was questioned "at the latest in the first week of December".The Union of Artistic Syndicates also said on Facebook that it was suspending Ramadan's membership until he was questioned "at the latest in the first week of December".
In response, Ramadan said he "respected" the union's decision, stressing that if he had known Omer Adam was Israeli he "would have rejected taking a picture with him".In response, Ramadan said he "respected" the union's decision, stressing that if he had known Omer Adam was Israeli he "would have rejected taking a picture with him".
A soap opera featuring Ramadan was also reportedly cancelled.A soap opera featuring Ramadan was also reportedly cancelled.