Egypt rapper suspended over selfies with Israelis reinstated

Cairo (AFP) –


Egyptian rapper and actor Mohamed Ramadan, blocked from work after the publication in November of photos of him posing with Israeli celebrities, is back on the job, he said Monday.

The actor published a picture on his Facebook page of himself on the set of a series titled "Musa", slated to air during the Muslim holy fasting Ramadan later this year.

An Egyptian court on Saturday dismissed a case against Ramadan that aimed at preventing him from acting and singing in Egypt.

The syndicate of Egyptian artists in December lifted a ban imposed on Ramadan after suspending his membership in November.

And the union of journalists also decided to rescind a decision to boycott all news linked to Ramadan due to the controversial photos.

In November, Israeli official Arab-language social media accounts posted two undated photos of Ramadan alongside singer Omer Adam and footballer Dia Saba, both Israeli citizens, on a rooftop in Dubai.

The pictures, published after the Unite Arab Emirates signed a deal to normalise ties with Israel, sparked outrage online in Egypt, with some accusing Ramadan of "betraying" the Palestinian cause and encouraging normalisation with the Jewish state.

The 32-year-old Egyptian entertainer boasts millions of followers in the Arab world, is a close friend of Morocco's King Mohamed VI and won the 2019 All Africa Music Awards prize. He has also had lead roles in major TV hits.

The UAE was one of three Arab states, along with Bahrain and Morocco, to normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals last year, while Sudan has pledged to follow suit.

Egypt was the first Arab state to normalise ties with Israel in 1979.