Lebanese singer Elissa has been banned from entering Syria, according to the London daily Elaph, just shortly after Lebanese singer Haifa Wahbi was also banned from entering the country.
Elissa declined to comment on the decision. Her manger Ameen Abi Yaghi said he did not receive any documentation notifying him of such a decision.
Haifa claims that she has not been banned from traveling to Syria, and is preparing to hold a live concert there in the near future. Head of the Union of Syrian Musicians, Sabah Obeid, denies any political motivation behind Syria’s move to ban a number of Arab singers like Haifa Wahbi, Elissa and Ruby. Obeid said the decision had been made after the Union determined that all three singers use their bodies, performing almost naked to market their music. “They are not real singers,” according to Obeid. Others view the Union’s decision as wholly political. Haifa recently released a song for Lebanese army Chief Samir Ja’ja’, while Elissa was seen participating in a march advocating the removal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. Elissa is one of many singers that have refused to perform for Syrian President Bashar Al Asad.