Decidedly, we can’t laugh about anything indeed. The popular singer received this sentence from a court in Cairo for « disseminating false information » and « disturbing public order ». According to the local publication, the star was ordered to pay EGP 5,000 (Mad 2 620) bail in order to stay out of jail until the appeal process is complete. She was also fined an additional amount of EGP 10,000 (Mad 5 240.)
Egypt's Sherine sentenced to prison over Nile joke https://t.co/THfpQoGdsO
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 27, 2018
A few months ago, Internet users shared a video of a concert in the United Emirates on social media where a fan is seen asking the star to sing « Ma chrebtech men nilha » (You didn’t drink from its Nile), one of her songs. « I would get schistosomiasis, » she jokingly said, referring to a disease caused by parasitic worms found in some freshwaters. « better drink Evian instead. »
The video went viral on social media and sparked outrage in Egypt. Even though the singer issued an official apology at the time of the incident, she was still temporarily banned from performing in Egypt and legal action against her moved forward.
In Egypt, the Nile issue is a sensitive one. Especially the government has just launched a major campaign to better manage the waters of the Nile. A new law promises prison sentences » in case of pollution of the Nile and in case of waste of drinking water through irrational consumption « . In addition, the government is doing everything to boost tourism and has invested millions of dollars to eradicate schistosomiasis in 2016. Which is why people took offense at Sherine’s joke.