Arab stars cancel concerts, make donations Turkey-Syria earthquake victims

Arab stars cancel concerts, make donations Turkey-Syria earthquake victims
Arab pop singers have cancelled upcoming concerts this month in the wake of the devastating earthquake that has killed over 21,000 people.
3 min read
10 February, 2023
Egyptian singer Amr Diab is among those who cancelled concert appearances [Getty]

Arab pop stars have cancelled or postponed music concerts in the region out of respect for victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which has devastated numerous towns and cities in both countries.

More than 21,000 people are reported to have been killed following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, with thousands more missing, 

Egyptian singer Amr Diab was scheduled to perform in Qatar’s Al-Maha Island on 14 February, alongside DJ Rodge, but decided to cancel, according to The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The concert’s organisers also extended their condolences to the earthquake's victims. 

Egyptian singer, Hani Shaker, was also due to perform in Syria in the same week as Diab, but cancelled the event.

Syrian star Hussein Al-Deek, also cancelled a performance in Jordan on Valentine's Day.

The singer, known for his song 'Mahlaki’, said via his Instagram account: "Because of the conditions that my beloved country, Syria, is going through, it was decided to cancel the ceremony scheduled to be held in Jordan on 2/14 and to cancel the special ceremony in Dubai on 2/17. May God have mercy on the martyrs of Syria, victims of earthquakes everywhere, and heal the wounded".

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Additionally, a number of Syrian celebrities have donated sums of money towards relief efforts in both Syria and Turkey, as thousands of victims remain without food, medical aid and shelter.

Many have taken to social media to express the plight of Syrians, who not only are reeling from the aftermath of the earthquake but are also suffering from abject poverty, corruption and sanctions that have plunged Syria's economy, as it continues to bear the brunt of Assad's crackdown on civilians in opposition areas.

Stars such as Nassif Zaytoon reportedly donated 360 million Syrian liras ($143,282), according to his management company. Famed actor Taim Hassan has donated 107 Syrian liras ($42,586), while fellow actors Sulaf Fawakherji and Wael Ramadan also donated significant sums, according to Laha Magazine.

George Wassouf, a Syrian singer with a career spanning four decades, also contributed with a 1.5 billion lira donation, according Al-Watan. Wassouf however, much like Fawakherji, has been the centre of controversy and criticism due to his alleged support for Syrian regime leader Bashar Al-Assad.

Fellow singer Assala, who has previously supported the Syrian uprising, also donated a hefty sum,

Other celebrities from the Arab world also pledged donations. Lebanese model and actress Nadine Nassib Njeim asked fans to donate to UNICEF on the occasion of her birthday. Singer Nancy Ajram has also called for donations, according to Lebanese outlet Al-Jadeed, but said she will not cancel her upcoming North American tour in the wake of the tragedy.

She did add that a large amount of the tour’s profits will go towards aid efforts but it is not clear how much.