Egyptian singer gets jail over ‘Nile’ remarks

CAIRO: Sherine Abdel-Wahab, an Egyptian singer, was on Tuesday sentenced to six months in prison for remarks made during a concert in 2016 that were deemed disparaging of the River Nile. The misdemeanour court in southern Cairo also ordered that Abdel-Wahab pay a bail of 50,000 pounds (about $2,850). The decision can be appealed.
At a concert in the United Arab Emirates in 2016, a fan asked Abdel-Wahab to sing the Arabic patriotic hit, “Have You Drunk from The Nile?”
“No, you’d get Schistosomiasis,” the singer responded, referring to a disease caused by parasitic worms. “Drink Evian, it’s better!”
An Egyptian lawyer filed a lawsuit against her after a video of the singer’s remarks emerged on social media, prompting an uproar.
The lawyer accused Abdel-Wahab of harming Egypt’s name and hurting its struggling tourism industry.
Egypt is seeking to revive the battered sector, a main source of national income and foreign currency.
The industry was hit hard by the unrest of the 2011 uprising. — dpa