After the Egyptian Academy of Arts presented veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan with an honorary degree, Cairo-born pop singer Shaaban Abdel Rahim, popularly known as Shaboula, expressed his disappointment at the decision, reported Al-Arabiya News.
Speaking to an Egyptian talk show host, he said he had a right to receive an honorary degree for his services to the country. “I fought off IS [Islamic State], Israel and Obama [through songs] for Egypt and Amitabh Bachchan does not dare to speak of them,” he said.
Shaboula voiced his discontent at how he was not shown the level of respect Bachchan was subjected to. “They invited Amitabh Bachchan to the Marriott and gave him a sauna… I want one too. I don’t know what that is… so I want one,” added Shaboula. The 58-year-old singer is among the most popular sha’b singers to have emerged from Egypt and is known for songs, which mostly feature politically-charged lyrics, reported The International Business Times.
Bachchan took to Twitter and shared he felt ‘honoured’ to have received the honorary doctorate. This is also the first time the Egyptian Academy of Arts conferred a Bollywood celebrity with a degree for his contribution to cinema. “Prestigious Academy of Art in Cairo decorates me with an honorary doctorate… humbled and honoured. First for India,” he tweeted.
Shaboula had previously released a song about the self-proclaimed ‘Emir’ of the militant group IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In the song, he calls Baghdadi a bored ‘Emir of criminals’, while terming the group’s militants a ‘bunch of crazies’. He also said IS was ‘profiling’ people, stating that religion is ‘innocent’ of Baghdadi and his likes.
Territories of Iraq and Syria have been under IS control and, according to the United Nations reports, the group has committed several war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Don’t play with our army,” Shaboula sang to Baghdadi. “If you attack us, we will attack you. Stop planting bombs, and start planting cabbage,” he said.
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