In Focus | Syria

Pro-Al Assad actress ‘attacked’ in Cairo

Raghda lodges complaint, claiming that Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood behind the assault

  • By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent
  • Published: 14:12 March 22, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Cairo-based Syrian actress Raghda leaves hospital after being treated for bruises when she was attacked by an angry crowd objecting to a poem she recited at a cultural event in the Egyptian capital praising Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Cairo: Syrian actress Raghda has accused Islamists of attacking her at the Cairo Opera House where she was reading a poem supportive of President Bashar Al Assad, security sources have said.

Raghda, a staunch backer of Al Assad, lodged a complaint with the police, claiming that Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood was behind the attack, which left her with bruises, added the sources.

However, the Supreme Culture Council, an Egyptian governmental agency that organised a poetry-reciting event Wednesday night at the Cairo Opera House, accused Raghda of provoking the audience with her poem.

She was not on the list of speakers,” said the council in a statement, adding that she had been allowed to take the podium when she asked for reading out one of her poems.

The council added that Raghda had attended the event escorted by a team from Syrian official TV and supporters of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak who was toppled in a revolt more than two years ago.

“The council does not accept that its cultural activities are used to promote political affiliations inside or outside Egypt.”

Witnesses said that some members of the audience shouted at Raghda because her poem praised Al Assad and alleged that Islamists abuse Syrian women coming to Egypt as refugees. The altercation developed into a fistfight between the protesters and her escorts, they added.

“Your morning of resistance strengthens me,” Raghda wrote on her Facebook page after the incident. “My faith in the honest people inspires me to go ahead until the end,” she added.

Egypt is hosting thousands of Syrians displaced by the two-year conflict in their homeland.

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