Egyptian Celeb Faces Legal Action for Taking Photos With Israelis
Egyptian actor and rapper Mohamed Ramadan is facing legal action for causing “offense to the Egyptian people” after taking pictures in Dubai over the weekend with several prominent Israelis, including pop singer Omer Adam.
The lawyer who filed a suit against the 32-year-old Ramadan compared the photos to “a cancer that destroys all that has remained of the country’s morality and ethics.”
Cairo’s Summary Proceedings Court will begin hearings in the case on Dec. 19.
Furthermore, Supreme Constitutional Court lawyer Tarek Mahmoud demanded the Egyptian Syndicate of Artists expel Ramadan and called for an immediate investigation, the Egypt Independent reported.
On Monday, the Egyptian Syndicate of Artists said on Facebook that it was suspending Ramadan’s membership pending an probe into his alleged “normalizing with Israel.”
Ramadan, who is currently abroad, will be required to appear for questioning by a committee formed by the union before the first week of December, the syndicate stated.
Although Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace treaty establishing full diplomatic relations in 1979, many Egyptians do not support efforts to build warmer relations with the Jewish state.
The uproar began after a photo of Ramadan with Adam at a social gathering in Dubai went viral on social media on Saturday.
The photo of the Israeli singer and Ramadan — who is a close friend of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and won the 2019 All Africa Music Awards prize — was originally posted on Twitter by an Emirati journalist and then retweeted by the State of Israel’s Arabic-language Twitter account.
Soon after, other pictures surfaced of Ramadan with Israelis at the same gathering at a Dubai restaurant, including photos with actor Elad Tesla and soccer player Dia Saba, who joined the Dubai soccer team Al-Nasr in September.
The images prompted a stir online, and the hashtag “Mohamed Ramadan is a Zionist” trended on Twitter.
A video on social media also showed Ramadan at the restaurant as the Hebrew song “Hava Nagila” played in the background.
Ramadan defended himself for taking the photo with Adam, saying, “I do not know nor do I ask about the nationality of everyone I take a photo with. 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.”
On Monday, he wrote in an Arabic post on Instagram that if he knew Adam was Israeli he “would have rejected taking a picture with him.”
He also told his more than 15 million Instagram followers that he “respected” the Syndicate’s decision.
A soap opera featuring Ramadan has been reportedly cancelled.