Palestinian singer denied entry to Egypt ahead of two scheduled concerts
Nai Barghouti – who has over 500,000 followers across her social media channels – was denied entry after she arrived at Cairo Airport.
She said in a statement that she had waited for over eight hours to get approval before being turned back.
Barghouti added that she did not know the reason why Egyptian authorities refused her entry. Rights groups have said that Egypt is currently seeing "the worst crackdown on human rights, freedom of expression, and media in the country's modern history".
“After being prevented at Cairo Airport from entering Egypt… I was shocked, saddened, and had many conflicting feelings, the most important of which was the loss of the opportunity to communicate with you [Egyptian fans] after a long wait,” Barghouti wrote.
“I prepared a rich and distinctive musical program worthy of the position of Egypt in the heart of the Arab nation… but now I have to wait for a future opportunity, which I hope will be near, so I can share it with you,” the artist added.
Barghouti was due to perform at the Cairo Opera House in the Egyptian capital for the first time in her career on Thursday. She was then going to give a concert at the Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria the following Saturday.
The concerts have now been postponed.
Nai Barghouti’s musicial influences come from across the Arabic world. Her latest album, ‘Nai 1’ consists of songs performed in several Arabic dialects, including Egyptian, Palestinian and Syrian.
Earlier this year, an Israeli orchestra performed in Egypt to celebrate Israel's independence day, which coincides with the 74th anniversary of the devastating Palestinian Nakba, where 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes in the lead-up to the creation of Israel.
The performance caused outrage, with some people condemning Egypt's continuing ties with Israel.
Egypt was the first Arab country to recognise and make peace with Israel, signing the Camp David Accords in 1979.