Palestinian singer banned from entering Egypt before concerts

Palestinian singer Nai Barghouti was scheduled to perform two shows in Egypt but was refused entry after arriving at Cairo airport.

Palestinian artist says she doesn’t know why she wasn’t allowed to enter Egypt [Getty]

A Palestinian singer has been refused entry to Egypt after she was scheduled to perform at two scheduled concerts in Cairo.

Nai Barghouti – who has more than 500,000 followers on his social media – was refused entry after arriving at Cairo airport.

She said in a statement that she waited more than eight hours for approval before being turned away.

Barghouti added that she did not know why the Egyptian authorities refused her entry. Rights groups have said that Egypt is currently experiencing “the worst crackdown on human rights, freedom of expression and the media in the country’s modern history”.

“After being stopped at Cairo airport from entering Egypt…I was shocked, saddened and had many mixed feelings, the most important of which was the loss of the opportunity to communicate with you. [Egyptian fans] after a long wait,” Barghouti wrote.

“I have prepared a rich and distinctive musical program worthy of Egypt’s position at the heart of the Arab nation…but now I have to wait for a future opportunity, which I hope will be near, in order to be able to share it with you”, adds the artist.

Barghouti was due to perform at the Cairo Opera House in the Egyptian capital on Thursday for the first time in his career. She was then going to give a concert at the Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria the following Saturday.

The concerts are now postponed.

Nai Barghouti’s musical influences come from all over the Arab world. His latest album, “Nai 1”, is composed of songs performed in several Arabic dialects, including Egyptian, Palestinian and Syrian.

Earlier this year, an Israeli orchestra performed in Egypt to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day, which coincides with the 74th anniversary of the devastating Palestinian Nakba, where 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes before the creation of Israel.

The performance sparked outrage, with some people condemning Egypt’s continued ties with Israel.

Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize and make peace with Israel, signing the Camp David Accords in 1979.

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