The dust has not settled between famous Iraqi mega-star Kathem El Saher and the Egyptian Music Union, although the singer has already left the country!
Upon his arrival to Egypt last week, Kathem found himself the subject of very harsh criticism from the union as well as from president of Egypt Television Suheir Al Atrabi.
The union and Atrabi had charged that Kathem should not be allowed to bring 15 Iraqi musicians to the country, because he could use talented Egyptian musicians. They also said that the singer is politicizing his art and that his actions are a reaction to Egypt’s stance during the Gulf War.
Egypt adamantly took the side of Kuwait and the US in the conflict.
Earlier this week, Atrabi had said that Saher is known to be constantly criticizing Egyptian talent, a matter, which is unacceptable, since the singer’s rise to fame came about in Egypt.
According to ‘Aljumhuriah’ newspaper, the ‘bad air’ was not cleared after the concert and the Labor Minister Ahmad Al Amawi stated that “Egypt is filled with specialized musicians and it has not issued a permit for any Iraqi singers.”
Meanwhile, the paper reported that the head of the Music Union, Hilmi Amin, said “as soon as I received a note that Kathem El Saher had brought in 14 Iraqi musicians to join him in his concert at the Marina Club, I demanded that all those involved should immediately cease breaking the law. I also spoke to the president of television and asked that this issue be resolved immediately.”
Amin also declared that he is “innocent of anything that happened in this issue, especially since Egyptian musicians are currently in dispute with the union, thinking that the union’s committee had allowed Kathem to break the law.”
“I would like to say that the committee is innocent of all three allegations and we were surprised to hear of what happened,” added Amin.
The head of union then explained, “any foreign musicians should obtain a work visa to perform in this country. If the procedure is not completed, the violator will either be imprisoned or thrown out of the country.”
Meanwhile, Amin raised another dangerous question regarding Kathem’s activities saying “how was the singer able to bring that many musicians into the country without approval from the designated sides and the security.”
However, Amin denied that the singer had ever made derogatory remarks about Egyptian musicians saying that Kathem, on various occasions, had “expressed that he admires Egyptian talent and that they are the most successful Arab country in the field of music.”
“In fact,” added Amin, “Kathem has declared his intentions of opening a studio for himself in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Kathem’s concert was a great success; the singer performed for four and a half hours non-stop - Albawaba.com.
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