Sting Speaks of ''Moving'' Tour of Conflict-Ridden Middle East
British rock star Sting, arriving in Egypt wearing a red-checkered Arab scarf and white robes, said Tuesday he was moved by his tour of the conflict-ridden Middle East, but sought to steer clear of politics.
"Some of the songs sing very directly about the situation in Palestine in a metaphorical way. So it's a very moving thing for me," Sting told a press conference.
On the eve of his concert at the pyramids with Rai musician Cheb Mami, Sting avoided politics other than to say that "the future lies around the negotiating table and the peace process and not with bulldozers and tanks."
When an Egyptian journalist asked why he did not speak out more, he said: "Because I'm a singer. When I have an opinion, I can express my opinion, but my job is to entertain people. I don't want to be a politician."
Ten percent of the ticket proceeds of his concert will go to Palestinian children through the British-registered Medical Aid for Palestinians, but the former frontman for the group Police said that could not be perceived as a political act.
"A charity for children can't be criticized," he said.
Sting performed last week in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, as well as two nights ago in Jordan, where he said he was given the Arab clothing.
The tour was also moving because people could sing along with him, even with songs he "wrote 20 years ago when I had nothing," he said.
Sting said he hoped his tour of the region would encourage other rock and pop stars to follow him, but he admitted it was not the easiest region to visit.
"It's logistically difficult to come to the Middle East. It's very expensive because you have to bring a lot of equipment and a lot of people with us," he added.
"It's up to people like me to say you can do it. You can come and it's safe. And you'll have a good time and people will enjoy your music."
Cheb Mami, with home he recorded the hit "Desert Rose", did not appear at the press conference -- (AFP)
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