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Palestinian artist Nai Barghouti denied entry to Egypt

Barghouti says was not told why she was being barred, even after an eight-hour wait at the airport
'As a Palestinian artist who was raised on the values of steadfastness and dignity, I refuse to give up hope,' Barghouti wrote to fans (Nai Barghouti Facebook)
"As a Palestinian artist who was raised on the values of steadfastness and dignity, I refuse to give up hope," Barghouti wrote to fans (Nai Barghouti Facebook)

Egypt has denied entry to Palestinian singer and composer Nai Barghouti for unclear reasons, the artist has said, adding that her long-awaited concerts were cancelled as a result.

Barghouti announced on Monday night that she was held at Cairo airport for eight hours, without being given any justification, before being barred from entering the country.  

Subsequently, she said, the Opera House has indefinitely postponed her debut at the prestigious cultural venue in the Egyptian capital and a show at the Roman amphitheatre in Alexandria has also been hit.

"I was shocked, saddened and overcome by conflicting emotions, the most prominent of which was loss… the loss of the opportunity to connect with you after a long wait," Barghouti wrote to her fans in Egypt.

"I have prepared a rich and special music program that suits... the people of sisterly Egypt and its stature in the heart of the Arab nation.

"As a Palestinian artist who was raised on the values of steadfastness and dignity, I refuse to give up hope."

Barghouti, a flute player and soloist from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, is a member of the Palestine Youth Orchestra, founded by Edward Said Conservatoire. 

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Fans have expressed their support to Barghouti and their outrage on social media, with many linking Egypt's decision to deny her entry to the country's long-standing relationship with Israel

"The beautiful Palestinian artist Nay Barghouti sang in London and was banned in Cairo because she is Palestinian," one social media user said.

Barghouti is renowned for her fusion of jazz and Middle Eastern music, and has performed across the Middle East, Europe and the United States, including at the United Nations headquarters in New York. 

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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