Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab has been banned from singing in her native country for "mocking" the legendary Nile River.
A fan approached Sherine during a concert in Lebanon a year ago and requested her to perform a popular song “I don’t drink from the Nile”.
The singer replied jokingly saying “I don’t drink from the Nile because I may get Schistosomiasis – known in Egypt as Bilharziasis, which is a parasite infection by a trematode worm acquired from infested water.
A video of the joke sparked outrage among Egyptians, who accused the singer of damaging her country’s national interests especially at a time when Egypt is striving to revitalise its economy and boost the tourism sector.
The Musicians’ Trade Union has prohibited her from performing in concerts in Egypt and referred her for investigation.
The singer issued a statement in which she apologised to Egypt and its people, saying that she was just making a joke without any intent of defaming her homeland.
Sherine Ahmed Abdel Wahab is a singer, actress, TV-host, and a former judge on MBC's The Voice.