An Egyptian Singer Was Sentenced to 6 Months In Prison for Saying the Nile River Was Polluted

Sherine Abdel-Wahab says it was a bad joke.

Sherine Abdel-Wahab, one of Egypt's highly regarded singers, has been sentenced to six months in prison for suggesting that it's a bad idea to drink from the Nile River because it's polluted.

The singer was also fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about $560) at the Abdin Misdemeanor Court, where judges found her guilty of insulting the state, Independent reports.

This ruling was a result of a video clip that circulated the internet, showing a fan asking her to sing the song, "Mashrebtesh min Nelha," at a concert, which is roughly translated to, "Haven't you drunk from [the River Nile's] water?"

The song is named after an Egyptian expression that suggests anyone who drinks from the Nile is bound to return.

Abdel-Wahab responded saying, "You are better off drinking Evian."

In the video, she went on to suggest that drinking from the river could yield schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasite which lives in water and grows inside the body. The disease used to be widespread in Egypt and traces of it have been found in ancient mummies, though the number of cases have decreased significantly over the last century.

The singer has apologized for the comments, saying that it was a "bad joke."

This extra behavior hasn't been uncommon as of late—another Egyptian singer, Shyma, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for "inciting debauchery" in her music video, "I Have Issues."


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