AjramGate: Lebanese popstar Nancy Ajram stands up for mums stuck in 'humiliating' Beirut airport queues

AjramGate: Lebanese popstar Nancy Ajram stands up for mums stuck in 'humiliating' Beirut airport queues
2 min read
04 July, 2019
Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram claimed she had been left to queue at Beirut airport arrival's lounge for an hour.
Nancy Ajram is one of the Arab world's best-selling artists [Getty]

Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram has faced criticism from Beirut airport officials after "falsely" claiming she was left to queue at the arrival's lounge for an hour with her child in arm.

Ajram tweeted a video on Wednesday showing in her amid a slow-moving queue at Beirut airport holding her five-month-old daughter.

"Today I am not an artist, but a citizen with a 5-month-old daughter who has been crying for an hour," Ajram complained in the tweet. 

"Is such neglect of our rights as citizens acceptable?"

She then said in the video - which was viewed by more than 2 million people - that mothers and pregnant women should be given preferential treatment at customs in Lebanon.

"This is the most basic women's right and a duty [on others] toward women," she wrote.

"Is this the Lebanon that you want to encourage tourists to visit?"

According to Lebanon's The Daily Star reported that airport security said that Ajram was not waiting for an hour in queue but just over ten minutes.

"She arrived in the arrivals hall at 11:29 pm and her passport was stamped at 11:41 pm Therefore she only waited for 12 minutes," Airport Security claimed in a statement.

Ajram's manager, Jiji Lamara, then said the Lebanese singer - who sang popular Arabic-language hits such as "Ya Tabtab" - told the Lebanese daily that it was not about the time but the principle of mothers waiting in line.

"It upset [Ajram] to see all the women in the queue who had young children... We don't like seeing this in our country," Lamara said.

Beirut Airport has faced criticism for the long queues at arrivals but introduced a $9 million 'Fast-Track Link' in March to ease congestion.

Lebanese security have also been accused of mistreating Syrians at the airport and sending refugees back to Syria where they could face detention, torture or death, but has been denied by authorities.

Nancy Ajram made a public performance in Saudi Arabia last month, when the kingdom ended a decades-long ban on live music.

However, Saudi Arabia's entertainment authority warned  that "dancing and swaying" would be strictly banned at concerts.