Egyptian singer jailed for suggestively eating banana in music video

Shyma was arrested by police on suspicions of inciting debauchery.

November 22, 2017

Shaimaa Ahmed, a 25-year-old pop artist better known as Shyma, was arrested and detained by Egyptian police last weekend on suspicion of “inciting debauchery” with a suggestive video for her song “I Have Issues.”

The song’s video features Shyma dancing in classroom in front of young, male students (the blackboard reads “Class #69”) and eating a banana in a suggestive manner, cut together with scenes of her in underwear. This kind of thing historically doesn’t fly in socially-conservative Egypt, and on Monday, two days after her arrest, the public prosecutor’s office ordered that Shyma’s detention be extended for a week.

Also, at one point, she pours a bunch of milk on the bananas, which is honestly more off putting than anything if we’re being honest.

In response to the backlash, Shyma has apologized, saying she never meant to cause offense. “I didn’t imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack from everyone,” Ahmed wrote in a statement on her Facebook page, which is now deleted.

This isn’t even the only Egyptian singer who has angered authorities this month: singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab was told she will face trial for making a joke at a concert in the United Arab Emirates. Abdel-Wahab was on stage when she was asked to perform “Have You Drunk From the Nile?” a patriotic song about the river and love of the Egyptian nation. The singer replied: “No, you’d get schistosomiasis! Drink Evian, it’s better.”  She was accused of “insulting the Egyptian state” and circulating “false or tenacious rumours” and is due to stand trial on December 23rd. Her songs were also banned from radio play.

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