Egypt: Musicians Union bans singer from performing

23 April 2015


The outspoken Egyptian actress, singer, belly dancer and television personality Sama Al Masri has been banned from singing in Egypt by the country’s Musicians Union.

The board of the Musicians Union, chaired by Union President Mostafa Kamel, decided unanimously to cancel the work authorisation of the ‘show-singer’ Sama Al Masri on the grounds that she is “negatively affecting the public common sense”.

The board found that she is offering to her audience “an art that spoils the public bashfulness”, and therefore “she is banned accordingly from practicing the singing profession.”

Tarek Mortada, a media consultant of the Union, stated that the Board convened in order to discuss the claims that had been made against Sama Al Masri. Tarek Mortada said he was assured after having reviewed videos attached to those claims – and other clips showing her performance on her privately owned tv-channel El Felol, i.e. the remnants that her works, according to Mortada, are “against the values and traditions of the Egyptian society”.

The spokesman said, “She utters many words that provoke people and violate their bashfulness, besides her dancing incites debauchery. Therefore, a decision was taken to lift her from the union’s membership list so she cannot sing anymore.”

He added that this decision was final and irrevocable.

Mortada said that a similar resolution against Sama Al Masri had been made by the previous president of the union. Following his death, the singer promised that she would never produce ‘fallen’ performances again, so she was given a temporary license for one year.

In April 2014, Al Arabiya reported that Sama Al Masri had been detained over a “pending investigation into an unlicensed television channel” which allegedly was owned by her.

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