Thursday, March 1, 2018

Singer Sentenced To Prison Over River Nile Joke

Egyptian singer, Sherine Abdel-Wahab has been sentenced to six months in prison for suggesting the River Nile was polluted and that drinking from it was a bad idea.

Sherine was also fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (around £400) by judges at the Abdin Misdemeanour Court, where she was found guilty of insulting the state.

The ruling came after a video clip emerged which showed a fan at a concert asking her to sing the song "Mashrebtesh min Nelha", which roughly translated means: "Haven’t you drunk from [the River Nile’s] water?

It is named after an Egyptian saying which suggests anyone who drinks from the Nile is bound to return.

In response to the request, Ms Abdel-Wahab said: “You are better off drinking Evian.”

She reportedly went on to suggest that  drinking from the river could give you a disease called schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasite which lives in water and grows inside the body.

Also known as bilharzia, it used to be widespread in Egypt and traces of it were found in ancient mummies.

However, the number of cases have greatly reduced over the course of the last century,
Ms Abdel-Wahab, who is commonly known by just her first name, has since apologised for the comments, branding them a “bad joke”.

She was sentenced in absentia earlier this week and it is unclear whether she will have to serve prison time.

She is not the first singer to face a court case in Egypt.

Last year, pop singer Shyma, whose real name is Shaimaa Ahmed, was sentenced to two years in prison for “inciting debauchery” and publishing an indecent film.