Lebanese singer Melhem Zein has taken umbrage at a Syrian singer's public admission that she feels unsafe in Lebanon. He refuses to abide Syrian singer Asala Nasri’s offending remarks against Lebanon. Melhem stressed that he did not find Asala’s derogatory comments about Lebanon acceptable.
The outspoken Syrian singer had commented that she avoids visiting Lebanon, fearing for her life due to her opposition to the Syrian regime that she has made no secret of. She worries that supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad may attempt to kidnap and kill her.
The stung Melhem countered that Lebanon is known for its great liberal stances and no one had the right to insult a country that has only ever offered a helping hand to anyone in need. He added that he was shocked at how an artist would hijack a music festival like the Moroccan ‘Mawazine’ to talk about his/her political views in front of an audience of more than 50 thousand people.
He re-stated that Asala had no right to speak ill about Lebanon but conceded that her political views about the current situation in Syria were her own business, and she was free to handle them in any way she pleased.
What do you think of this celebrity Lebanon-Syria spat? Do you think Arab celebrities should avoid bringing politics into the performance arena, Arab Spring or not?
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