Famous Egyptian singer sentenced to prison for joking about River Nile

For joking about the cleanliness of River Nile, one of Egypt’s biggest and most renowned singers Shirene Abdel Wahab has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Shirene Abdel Wahab

Shirene, also a judge on the Arabic version of The Voice TV show, told a fan that drinking from the famous River might give her bilharzia (also known as snail fever and Schistosomiasis,  a disease caused by parasitic flatworms usually found in fresh water called schistosomes.)  “Drink Evian instead,” she joked in a video which surfaced online last November.

Although the singer has since issued an apology for the offensive joke.

“My beloved country Egypt and its children, I apologize to you with all my heart for any pain I may have caused you,” she said.

According to BBC News, Ms. Shirene Abdel Wahab was ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($728) and 5000 Egyptian pounds ($364) in bail after being convicted of spreading false news, on top of that she was also banned from performing.

Bilharzia was widespread throughout much of Egypt’s history having been discovered in mummified remains from thousands of years ago but health programs in the last century had greatly reduced its prevalence.

Shirene is not the only Egyptian celebrity to face legal action in recent months.


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