Egypt: Singer banned ‘temporarily’ from performing his songs

26 March 2015


Singer Hamza Namera is being investigated by the Musicians Union which as issued a ‘temporary’ resolution to ban him from singing.

Hamza Namera is an Egyptian singer, who was born and grew up in Saudi Arabia until the age of 12 when his parents returned to Alexandria, Egypt.

In 2011, he was known to be a singer of the revolution. However, in the last year, he has become known to be the singer of the Muslim Brotherhood. Regardless, he has a huge number of fans among young men and women in Egypt.

On 20 February 2015, several Egyptian newspapers stated that Mostafa Kamel, president of the Musicians Union in Cairo, had issued a resolution to ban Hamza from singing, given that he releases songs that ‘increase division’ and ‘incite turmoil’ among the youth.

However, on 25 February, the President of the Musicians Union stated to the media that he did not issue such resolution. It was allegedly issued by another official in the union, so he apologised for this confusion.


On 24 March 2015, Ali Al Shari’e, Head of Inspection and Censorship at the Musicians Union, said on a tv talk show called ‘10 PM’ with the popular tv host Wael Al Ebrashy that the songs of Hamza Namera called for incitement against the Egyptian state and that they tarnished the image of the army and the police. Therefore, the Musicians Union had decided to write the singer off the union.

Al Shari’e said during the same discussion with the tv host in the talk show which was broadcasted on Dream, a privately owned tv channel, that Namera released songs for what he called as ‘Raba’a [Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations supporting Mosri] Martyrs’. Therefore, as per the law, an artist who increases schism in the state would have to be banned.

Additionally, on the same tv show, the general secretary of the Union, Ahmed Ramadan said on a phone call with Wael Al Ebrashy, the tv host, that “we banned the singer ‘temporarily’, since he rejected to attend some urgent meetings to discuss his ‘status”’ in Egypt, and given his lack of respect for the Union decisions.”

The Secretary also explained that actually the singer had not been written off the Union. The ban was just a temporary precautionary act taken by the Union until they had conducted an investigation of the singer, and interviewed him. He also condemned the media severe attack launched against the Union for the suspension decision.


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