Outrage as Egyptian actors meet Assad cronies in Damascus
The delegation, which included renowned film stars Elham Shahin, Poussy Shalabi and Farouq al-Feshawi, met with Hadiya Abbas, parliament speaker in Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Filmmakers Omar Abdul Aziz and Mohsen Fouda - who heads the Egyptian Actors' syndicate - were also part of the delegation, which also met with the minister of tourism Beshr al-Yaziji.
During the trip, Shahin was honoured on Syrian Art Day at the Damascus Opera House.
"I stand with the people of Syria, the army and the leadership," Shahin told reporters during her visit.
"Syria's suffering is that of Egypt and the rest of the Arab nation."
In a separate televised interview, Shahin said she was surprised to see Damascus again after so many years, adding that the situation on the ground was as she left it before the war.
"I want people to know it's beautiful here. All the pictures we see in the media of killing and destruction are fake."
Images from the visit circulated widely on social media platforms, as the Egyptian Twitterati rushed to denounce the visit, which was seen as backing Assad's continued crimes against the Syrian people.
[Translation: Elham Shahin, Farouq al-FeshawI, Poussy, Omar Abdul Aziz and a number of other Egyptian actors were sent by #Sisi to celebrate the thug #Bashar]
[Translation: Bashar Assad is killing Syrian children with chemical gas, and those so-called artists support the killing of the rest of the children in Syria.]
[Translation: Egyptian actress Elham Shahin mocks the killing of Syrians from Damascus, after Sisi sent her to Bashar. She says everything there is beautiful and the pictures of killings we see are all fake!]