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Egyptian singer Sherine banned for ‘mocking’ River Nile

Egyptian singer Sherine banned for 'mocking' River Nile

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sherine Abdel Wahab issued a statement apologising for her "foolish joke" at the concert

Egypt's musicians' union has banned a leading singer from performing in the country for "mocking" the River Nile.

It came after video emerged showing Sherine Abdel Wahab being asked at a concert to sing Mashrebtesh Men Nilha (You Didn't Drink From Its Nile).

She responded by saying "drinking from the Nile will get me schistosomiasis" – a disease caused by parasitic worms that is commonly known as bilharzia.

Abdel Wahab then advised the fan to "drink Evian water" instead.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate announced that it had reviewed the video and decided to suspend the 37 year old over her apparent "unjustified mockery of our dear Egypt".

The union said it had opened an investigation and would not grant Abdel Wahab the necessary permits to perform until she had been questioned.

Abdel Wahab later issued a statement apologising for her "foolish joke" at the concert, which she said took place in the Gulf emirate of Sharjah more than a year ago.

"My beloved country Egypt and and sons of my country Egypt, I apologise to you with all my heart for any pain caused to any of you," she added.

Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by a parasitic worm that lives in fresh water in subtropical and tropical regions.

People become infected when larval forms of the parasite penetrate the skin during contact with infested water. In the body the larvae develop into adult worms that live in the blood vessels, where the females release eggs. Some become trapped in body tissues, causing immune reactions and progressive damage to organs.

The parasite is most commonly found throughout Africa, but also lives in parts of South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia.

In recent decades national control programmes have successfully reduced prevalence of schistosomiasis in many countries, including Egypt.

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