Shakira causes a commotion with the Egyptian censors
A commotion has erupted with the Egyptian censorship committee over a new film script that deals with the Lebanese-Colombian pop singer Shakira Mebarak and holds her name as its title. Even though the film does not directly interfere with the singer's persona, officials felt that it is in the best interest to take precautions against any expected legal suit by the singer.
According to the UAE based daily, head of the censorship committee Madkour Thabet expressed that an acceptance for the film should be made officially and according to the law in order not to risk any unexpected lawsuits. Madkour revealed that the whole issue began when he received a rejection over the film because it is targeted at the famous singer and uses her name in its title. He added that he did not find anything in the script that needed censorship aside from the fact that if the producers are to go on with filming they must either change the name of the film or present an official agreement from the singer saying that it is alright to use her name.
Coincidence has it that the producer of the film Hassan Ramzi has previously run into several problems with the censors over the topics of his films. But this time Ramzi stressed that the film does not threaten in any way Shakira's image and on the contrary it just shows how much the singer is loved and appreciated in Egypt.
The film is about a young girl who is infatuated with Shakira. The girl is so into the singer that she sings and performs in exactly the same manner, in addition to looking a lot like the singer. The writer of the film Nihad Abdul Aziz was shocked with the censorship over the commotion caused. She said that the film does not affect Shakira in any way negative, and in fact it just goes to show how much Shakira is loved by women and men and how most girls look up to her as their role model.
Muhsin Jaber, owner of the music production company Alam Al Phan, had reopened negotionations with the business manager for Shakira to hold concerts in Egypt this summer. Jaber had expressed his wishes to have Shakira take part in the big events in different tourist areas during the summer, which will include a large number of Arab singers, to celebrate the opening of his new music channel Mazzika.
Negotiations between the two sides had come to a temporary halt after Shakira had demanded a private plane to take her from London to Sharm El Sheikh and a wage of 750 thousand US dollars, not including the wages of the band and accommodations.
On his part Jaber renegotiated with Shakira a new offer for one million US dollars to hold four concerts in Egypt; in addition to give him full rights to market her albums around the Arab world. Shakira requested some time to rethink his offer over and discuss the issue with her consultants.
Shakira had also received another offer to sing in Lebanon and go back on her previous decision of canceling concerts. Shakira had revealed that she hopes to visit her home country soon and also wants some time to think about the possibility of holding concerts in Beirut.
Multicultural Shakira is one of a growing number of Latin American singers making a splash on the US pop charts. Her latest album, "Laundry Service," has sales approaching 10 million albums worldwide. Her music combines rock, pop, Latin and Arabic sounds. Shakira also plays guitar and writes most of her songs, which allows her to control its content and style, something she is very keen on. – Albawaba.com
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)