Abdul Basir Hassan
Pictures of the Egyptian artist, Mohamed Ramadan, in one of them next to the Israeli singer, Omir Adam, and the Emirati artist, Hamad Al Mazrouei, and in the other next to the Israeli football player, Diaa Sabaa, and in a third next to the Israeli entrepreneur, Eilad Tesla, sparked widespread controversy. Scope in Egypt and beyond.
The Emirati artist, Hamad Al Mazrouei, known for his support for the normalization of his country’s relations with Israel, had published the picture in which Ramadan appeared, placing his arm around Adam’s neck with a smile on top of the three faces, on his personal account on the social networking site “Twitter” accompanied by the comment of his text “The most famous artist.” In Egypt, with the most famous artist in Israel, Dubai brings us together, “before Al-Mazroui later deleted it.
The controversy intensified with the re-publication of the official Arabic page of the Israeli government on the social networking site Facebook. The same image is accompanied by a comment that reads: “Art always brings us together … Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan with Israeli singer Omir Adam in Dubai.”
Then the Israeli army’s Arabic spokesman, Avichai Adrai, returned the same picture and wrote on it, “How beautiful is art, music, and peace! The able Egyptian artist Muhammad Ramadan with the brilliant Israeli artist Omir Adam in Dubai.”
Additional photos of Ramadan with Israelis
With the first reactions to the photo, Al-Mazrouei deleted it before re-publishing it later, but Adam returned and posted another picture (selfie) of him with Ramadan with Ramadan, and they both wrapped the other arm and had to comment “Mafia Mafia”, referring to one of Ramadan’s famous songs.
In response to the sharp criticism directed at him, Ramadan posted a video clip on his Instagram account, commenting on the photo he had collected with Adam and Al-Mazrouei, in which he said, before deleting it later, “I do not know. I am visualizing with who we are all human beings, and any one imagined with me did not refuse … . “
Ramadan added in the same video: “We are all human beings, and I cannot ask anyone who wishes to photograph with me about his nationality, color, or shape … I do not care about your name, your color, or your birth, I care about a person, even if there is no title … Trust in God is success.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli soccer player, Diaa Sabaa, as well as Elad Tesla published independent photos of each of them with Ramadan through their social accounts, which increased criticism of Ramadan, as some accused him of supporting and supporting “normalization” with Israel.
Syndicate is waiting for a statement from Ramadan
Ashraf Zaki, head of the acting professions in Egypt, commented on the pictures of Ramadan with Adam that Ramadan, who is in the UAE at the time, told him that he did not know who Adam was before the photo was taken and denied that he knew in advance that he was Israeli.
Zaki added in televised statements that Ramadan told him by phone, “I did not know who is who, I was in an Arab country and I photographed hundreds of pictures, and I am not required to ask everyone who imagines me to tell him your nationality, I am in an Arab country, I am not going to (Israel … one came and visualized with me like hundreds. “
Zaki ruled out that Ramadan was “betrayed by his intelligence,” indicating that the Syndicate will summon Ramadan upon his return to Cairo to present a “statement” of what he told him in their phone call to be a documented statement to be presented to the public opinion.
Zaki said that indicting and investigating an artist “must have elements that must be met” before summoning the artist for investigation, and that he will be heard before the Syndicate Council upon his return to Egypt “within a day or two.”
The union, whose affiliation is a condition for the official profession of acting in Egypt, had previously written off the name of a member from its records for publicly supporting normalization with Israel.
Angry reactions and rejecting normalization
Social media was filled with many comments rejecting the pictures and strongly critical of Ramadan. Many of its pioneers accused him of promoting normalization with Israel, especially since the pictures were taken in the Emirates, which were among three Arab countries that announced the launch of normal relations with Israel during the past two months, along with Bahrain and Sudan.
Egypt had signed a peace agreement with Israel since 1979, and the two sides exchanged diplomatic missions and engaged in various aspects of political and economic relations since then, but a large number of Egyptians, professional unions, institutions and many other civil entities refused to normalize relations with Israel.
Former member of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, Gamal Fahmy, denounced the pictures in which Ramadan appeared with Israelis and considered what Ramadan did as part of “normalization pressures with symbols of Arab and Egyptian soft powers” practiced by Israel.
A copy of the normalization pictures
“It is a shameful picture of normalization, an unfortunate and nauseating act of truth, from an artist with a fan base,” Fahmy added in a telephone interview with the BBC.
Fahmy added: “What is comforting is that there is no great Egyptian or Arab artist of great value involved in any form of normalization and all incidents over a period of forty years that did not exceed one or two cases, all of them are very marginal … Unfortunately Muhammad Ramadan put himself in This small list. “
Fahmy adds: “I personally accept any apology as long as it is due to the truth and our patriotic and national feelings, and I accept his apology if it was, as he said, he did not know the nationality of the one who took the photo with him in advance.”
However, Imad Gad, a former member of the Egyptian parliament, journalist and head of the Center for Strategic Studies in Al-Ahram, said that there is an exaggerated “noise” as a result of this photo, indicating that Egypt signed a normalization agreement with Israel forty years ago.
Gad added that he sees pictures of Ramadan with Adam and other Israeli celebrities as a “normal behavior,” noting that Ramadan “lived through a period that did not witness any Egyptian-Israeli wars or tensions. On the contrary, he lived during a period in which an Arab embarked on normalization with Israel, on top of which was the Emirates that left.” Pictures from her. “
And Jad added that he imagines that the events surrounding Ramadan in the Emirates have made the occasion of taking these pictures a “natural event.”
Regarding the possibility of Ramadan apologizing, Gad said, “Ramadan may be shaken by his lack of political experience from this uproar, and he will offer an apology, and perhaps those who reject his behavior will see the apology sufficient because it will deter others from embarking on such a plan.”
But he stressed his reservations about such a step if it happened, saying, “I refuse to apologize because we cannot fully capture our relationship and our region because of the issue of their owners. They disagreed with each other and do not sit with each other. Now the Arab countries are looking for their individual interests. No one can blame them for that.”