Asharq Al-Awsat
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on : Friday, 18 Feb, 2011
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Egyptian celebrities face protesters wrath in post-Mubarak Egypt

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Political activists who took part in the Egyptian 25 January revolution have drawn up a blacklist that includes the names of a number of Egyptian actors, musicians, and media figures, calling on the Egyptian public to boycott their work from on. This is after these Egyptian public figures expressed their support for Mubarak and his regime, and made anti-revolutionary comments, during the period leading up to the Egyptian revolution. This blacklist appeared on the internet, and was sent to a number of media publications.

This blacklist includes Egyptian superstar Tamer Hosni, who famously called on protestors in Tahrir Square to return to their homes. Hosni later attempted to visit Tahrir Square and recant this position; however the demonstrators greeted him with derision and cat-calls, forcing him to flee. A YouTube video of the distraught singer crying and asking the protestors forgiveness, shot just after he was forced to take flight from Tahrir Square, later appeared on the internet. This apology has failed to satisfy many Egyptians, who believe that this incident will affect his popularity, with many anti-government activists calling for Egyptians to boycott his movies and music.

Egyptian actor Adel Iman is also in the same boat, for this Arab mega-star who has appeared in more than 100 films came out strongly in defense of Mubarak and his regime. Many Egyptians were surprised when Adel Imam, who is an Egyptian acting legend that has starred in many nationalistic and anti-establishment films such as “Al Erhab Wal Kebab” [Terrorism and Kebab], Al-Sefara Fil-Emara [The Embassy in the Building], and Emerat Yacoubian [The Yacoubian Building], came out to defend the now-former Egyptian president. However others were not surprised by this, as Adel Imam is known to be a close friend of Hosni Mubarak and his family.

The blacklist also included established Egyptian actress Samah Anwar, who during the Tahrir Protests was quoted as saying “if the situation required authorities to use fighter planes and nuclear against them [the protestors], then no time should be wasted in order to save Egypt.”

However some Egyptian stars played a waiting game with regards to commenting on the protests – whether in favor or against – for fear that the McCarthyist atmosphere that would undoubtedly follow this tense period of Egyptian history, whether the revolution was successful or the Mubarak regime survived, could later affect their careers. For example Egyptian pop-star Amr Diab remained conspicuously silent during the protests, and in fact left the country, seeking refuge in London. However some Egyptian political activists have criticized Diab for fleeing the country during this historical period, and even claimed that his silence was a tacit expression of support for the former regime. Even though Diab’s name has not been included on the blacklist of Egyptian artists, some political activists have called on Egyptians to boycott his music from now on. Another Egyptian figure who followed Diab’s example was Egyptian actress Mina Shalabi who also left the country during the protests, seeking refuge in London.

What is even stranger is that some Egyptian public figures known for being outspoken critics of the regime remained surprisingly silent during the protests, such as Egyptian actors Mahmoud Yassin, Nour El-Sharif, and Yahya al-Fakharany.

However many Egyptians stars offered their support to the Tahrir Square protestors, even attending the demonstrators. For example Egyptian actors Ahmed Helmi, Ahmed El Saqa, and Mona Zaki, attended the 25 January “Day of Rage” protests in Tahrir Square to public acclaim.

The following is the full list of Egyptian artists, actors, musicians, and media figures, who a group of Egyptian 25 January Revolution activists have called on the Egyptian public to boycott:

Actress: Farida Seif El Nasr

Actor: Tamer Abdul Minam

Actress: Shams El-Barudy

Actress: Abir Sabri

Actress: Nabila Abeed

Actress: Zaina

Actress: Sabreen

Actress: Regina

Actress: Maha Ahmed

Actor: Adel Imam

Actor: Mohamed Subhi

Actor: Talaat Zakaria

Actor: Hassan Youssef

Actress: Ghadda Abdek Rezzaq

Actress: Samah Anwar

Actress: Yusra

Actor: Ahmed Bedier

Actress: Hala Sadqi

Actress: Nehal Anber

Actress: Magda Zaki

Actress: Wafaa Amer

Actor and Egyptian Actors Union Chairman: Ashraf Zaki

Singer: May Kasab

Singer: Hakim

Singer: Amr Mostafa

Singer: Tamer Hosni

Singer: Mohamed Attia

Singer: Ahmed Ezz

Singer: Shada

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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