Amr Diab's Christmas concert now open to veiled women following social media backlash

Published December 5th, 2016 - 06:56 GMT
Decision was made following complaints from fans and women's rights orgs. (File photo)
Decision was made following complaints from fans and women's rights orgs. (File photo)

Hoda El-Nazer, the manger of famed Egyptian singer Amr Diad, said on Saturday his upcoming Christmas concert will be open to all, after reports veiled women would be banned from attending sent shockwaves of anger among women's rights associations and many of the popular singer's dedicated fans.

Moment Events, Diab's Christmas concert organisers at Cairo's Kempinski hotel, had hinted in an earlier press release at a "ban" on veiled women at the event.

Egyptian news outlets circulated reports of the ban, with some quoting one Diab fan who called to reserve tickets and was asked if his wife was veiled.

Other reported restrictions also stipulated that fans below 18 years of age will not be allowed entry due to the serving of alcoholic drinks at the venue.

El-Nazer’s said in a telephone call to Al-Ashera Masaan TV show, presented by Wael El-Ebrashy on Dream TV, the issue was resolved and the concert was open to all.

She explained Diab refused to hold the concert if veiled women would not be allowed to attend, thus forcing the hotel and organisers to comply.

Mosawah Center for Training and Consulting issued a statement titled “Discrimination has many faces, and is still practiced against women” expressing concern over the reported restrictions against veiled women. The center said such measures infringe on human rights and freedom, asking the organisers to reconsider their stance.

Diab’s fans also took to social media to express their anger, wondering if Diab himself had anything to do with the reported ban, or what he thinks of it.

El-Nazer added that Diab was as surprised and as unhappy as his fans to hear about the ban on veiled women, saying he refuses to have his audience divided into categories.

Born in 1961, Diab is among the most prominent and regionally recognised Egyptian pop singers. He won World Music Award for Best Selling Artist four times with the last one for his 2013 album El-Leila (Tonight) which also brought him many other awards. Diab is the only Middle Eastern artist who received a World Music Award seven times.

Diab's career took off in the 1980s and remained active with a large database of followers in Egypt and regionally.

He released almost 30 albums to his name.

Diab's latest album Shoft El Ayaam (I Saw the Days, 2014) was released by Rotana, his producer since 2004. 

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