Popular Egyptian actress Elham Shahin reveals meeting with Assad
Popular Egyptian actress Elham Shahin reveals controversial meeting with Assad in Syria
The Egyptian actress said she met the embattled Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Egyptian actress Elham Shahin revealed that she met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad during her visit to Syria, where she shared criticism of Turkey.
Shahin said she was invited, along with several other artists, by the Syndicate of Syrian Artists, in a group headed by Farouk al-Fishawy, another Egyptian actor.
Speaking on the 'Look' program on the Egyptian Echo channel, she said the group had met with a number of officials in the city including the Syrian leader, as well as Syrian artist Duraid Lahham and Ayman Zidan.
Shahin spoke to Assad for around an hour about the Syria conflict as well as the border it shares with Turkey.
She called Turkey the “largest place for human organ-trading in the world” and accused the country of “kidnapping our youth for organ trade”.
Read more: Mega arms deal with Egyptian regime exposes Italy's 'hypocrisy' on rights abuses, destabilisation of Libya
This isn’t the first time Shahin was the centre of controversy over meetings with politicians in Syria.
In 2017 she joined a delegation of well-known artists that included film stars Poussy Shalabi and Farouq al-Feshawi to meet with Hadiya Abbas, parliament speaker in Assad’s regime.
“I stand with the people of Syria, the army and the leadership," Shahin told reporters during her visit.
"Syria's suffering is that of Egypt and the rest of the Arab nation."
In a separate televised interview at the time, Shahin said she was surprised to see Damascus again after so many years, adding that the situation on the ground was as she left it before the war.
"I want people to know it's beautiful here. All the pictures we see in the media of killing and destruction are fake," she claimed.
Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, has won back control of most of Syria after a nine-year war that has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced over half of the country's pre-war population.