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2016: Year of ups and downs for Arab artists Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

2016: Year of ups and downs for Arab artists

Saad Lamjarred will spend NYE 2016 in prison, after he was charged with rape [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2017

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Many people across the world are reflecting on what was a fairly awful year globally, but it's worth reminding yourself that some people will always have it worse.
The year 2016 will be remembered by many in the Middle East as an 'annus horribilis' - a horrible year.

But it wasn't all bad and it's sometimes worth reminding that even though the world may seem like it's falling apart, there will always be someone else who is having it worse.

Below is a selection of Arab singers and actors who had the best of times and the worst of times in 2016.

Saad Lamjarred

Lamjarred is spending New Year's Eve in jail this year, after a French court denied him bail ahead of trial for aggravated sexual assault.

The famous Moroccan singer, 31, is accused of allegedly raping a young woman in a Paris hotel - the second allegation of rape against him in five years.

Rami Malek

Malek became the first non-white actor in a drama to win an Emmy, a prestigious acting award, in eighteen years. He played Elliot Anderson, a computer programmer, in the first season of Mr Robot.

Ahmed al-Fishawy

The famous Egyptian actor was essentially black-listed from every Egyptian film-studio in 2016, after he walked off-set after only ten days of shooting.

Fishawy was accused of breaking his contract and is reportedly persona non grata with all major film producers.

Things went from bad to worse however, after his ex-wife, Hind Hanawi, sued him in the family court for increased child support in order to take their daughter to live in London.

Ahmed Ezz

Ezz was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia and given a fine of EGP 15,000 ($830) after an Egyptian court found he had slandered his wife, the actress Zeina.

Ezz had denied the two had ever been married and said she had falsified the birth certificates for their two children.

Ezz, who had entered into a secret marriage before with the singer Anghem, consistently refused to take a paternity test and was ordered by the court to pay $20,000 a year in alimony.

Mashrou Leila

The Lebanese rock group had a ban against performing in Jordan reversed this year, following a public out-cry. The front-man of Mashrou Leila is openly gay and their songs make frequent reference to gay issues, with frequent swearing in their lyrics.

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