Egyptian artist Mohamed Ramadan is to be tried at court next month following a public backlash against an image of him posing with an Israeli singer during a visit to Dubai surfaced on social media.
Lawyer Tarek Mahmoud is said to have filed the lawsuit against the 32-year-old who stands accused of offending the Egyptian people after the photo went viral on Saturday. He also urged the Egyptian Syndicate of Artists to refer Ramadan for immediate investigation and to expel him from the union.
According to Egypt Independent, Emirati journalist Hamad Al-Mazrouei posted a picture of him with Ramadan and Israeli singer Omer Adem at a party in Dubai, captioned "The most famous artist in Egypt with the most famous artist in Israel, Dubai brings us together". The picture was later deleted.
الفن دوما يجمعنا.. عرض الإعلامي الإماراتي حمد المزروعي صورة للنجم المصري محمد رمضان مع المطرب الإسرائيلي عومير آدام في دبي 🇮🇱🇪🇬🇦🇪 pic.twitter.com/sv4X3r5nUb
— إسرائيل بالعربية (@IsraelArabic) November 21, 2020
However before he removed the post, social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter for "Israel speaks Arabic" which is affiliated to the Israeli Foreign Ministry also shared the image along with the caption "Art always brings us together".
A short video clip also emerged on social media depicting Ramadan mingling with attendees with the popular Jewish folk song "Hava Nagila" playing in the background.
Ramadan, who has a large social media following himself and is also a close friend to Morocco's King Mohammed VI, denied knowing the identity and nationality of the celebrities present stating that he never asks people their nationality before they take a photo with him.
He was also pictured with other Israeli celebrities, including actor Elad Tesla and Arab Israeli football player Dia Saba who signed for the Dubai-based football team Al-Nasr in September, making him the first Israeli citizen to do so following the normalisation agreement signed between the UAE and Israel in the same month.
The UAE was joined by Bahrain in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel. Although Egypt was the first Arab state to recognise Israel in 1979 it maintains what has been described as a "cold peace" with relations overwhelmingly rejected by the population.