‘All of Us Are Human’: Egyptian Actor Defends Himself After Facing Barrage of Criticism for Taking Photo With Israeli Singer Omer Adam
Egyptian actor and singer Mohamed Ramadan responded over the weekend to backlash he received on social media after a photo of him with Israeli pop singer Omer Adam in Dubai went viral.
Emirati journalist Hamad Al Mazroui posted on Twitter a now-deleted photo of Ramadan embracing Adam during a trip to the United Arab Emirates. He captioned the image, “The most famous artist in Egypt with the most famous artist in Israel. Dubai brings us together,” according to the publication Egyptian Independent. The photo was then retweeted by the State of Israel’s Arabic language Twitter account on Saturday under the caption “Art brings us together.”
الفن دوما يجمعنا.. عرض الإعلامي الإماراتي حمد المزروعي صورة للنجم المصري محمد رمضان مع المطرب الإسرائيلي عومير آدام في دبي 🇮🇱🇪🇬🇦🇪 pic.twitter.com/sv4X3r5nUb
— إسرائيل بالعربية (@IsraelArabic) November 21, 2020
Egypt and Israel signed a historic peace treaty establishing full diplomatic relations in 1979, but many Egyptians do not support efforts to build warmer relations with the Jewish state.
“You’ve lost your audience,” read one comment on Ramadan’s page, according to the Israeli news website Ynet. “No to normalization,” said another.
Ramadan replied to the controversy in a now-deleted Instagram voice message.
“I do not know nor do I ask about the nationality of everyone I take a photo with,” he said, “Anyone can take a photo with me so long as they are human. I never ask about his color, religion, or nationality. All of us are human.”
According to local reports, he also shared on Facebook a video of himself at Adam’s concert, and in the caption of another Facebook video he wrote, “There is no room to ask everyone about their identity, color, nationality and religion.”
Ramadan also posted on Saturday night a video of himself with a Palestinian fan in the UAE who he said supported the actor’s decision to take a photo with Adam.
“Some will ignore this video and confirm that the intention is not the Palestinian cause,” Ramadan wrote in the video’s caption, “Rather, their real cause is the 1000th attempt to stop my success and popularity.”