Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:38 am (KSA) 08:38 am (GMT)

Algeria singer cheers for Egypt and Algeria in cup

Warda al-Jazairia is Arabic for Warda the Algerian (File)
Warda al-Jazairia is Arabic for Warda the Algerian (File)

A famous Algerian singer who stirred controversy with her statement on Egypt and Algeria's last soccer game announced she will cheer for both teams in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

Warda al-Jazairia, Arabic for Warda the Algerian, expressed her surprise at the campaign launched against her for saying she will cheer for Algeria when it played against Egypt in the World Cup Qualifier which took place in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

 I was asked which of the two teams I would cheer for. I said the Algerian team because I am Algerian and added that if Egypt won I would cheer for them in the World Cup 
Warda al-Jazairia

“I was asked which of the two teams I would cheer for,” she told Al Arabiya. “I said the Algerian team because I am Algerian and added that if Egypt won I would cheer for them in the World Cup.”

Despite being Algerian, Warda is seen by many of her fans as mostly Egyptian as she has been one of the most prominent singers of Egyptian music for the past 40 years. This is why many Egyptians were angry when she announced her support for Algeria.

“Things have calmed down now and we don’t want to reignite them again. Both Algeria and Egypt will play in the Africa Cup of Nations and I am going to cheer for both so that no one gets angry.”

The Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to start in Angola on January 10. Egypt and Algeria are not, however, in the same group, but can play against each other in a later stage depending on finalist list.

A farce

 That’s is ridiculous. It is a farce fabricated by someone who has every right to express what he/she thinks, but I know that millions of Egyptians love me 
Warda

When asked about rumors that she was deported from Egypt after her statements about the last game in Khartoum, Warda dismissed them as false.

“That’s is ridiculous. It is a farce fabricated by someone who has every right to express what he/she thinks, but I know that millions of Egyptians love me.”

She also denied allegations that several Egyptian composers and songwriters withdrew from her last album in protest of her support for the Algerian team and said that this is just part of the media frenzy she has been subjected.

“It is disgraceful that some people can believe everything said in the media and let themselves drift in such a war of words. Had it not been for the wisdom of politicians in both Egypt and Algeria, the situation would have gravely escalated. Thank God they were rational enough not to let this affect the interests of the two countries.”

Love for Egypt

 When I sang in the October 73 celebrations I said that I came from Algeria, the country of a million martyrs, to pay tribute to Egypt 
Warda

Warda stressed that her love for Egypt is indisputable and noted that many of the most beautiful patriotic songs in Egypt were sung by her, especially after the country’s 1973 victory.

“When I sang in the October 73 celebrations I said that I came from Algeria, the country of a million martyrs, to pay tribute to Egypt.”

She also recounted how she has always been welcome in Egypt since she first arrived in 1960.

“When late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser met me, he greeted me saying, ‘Welcome, Algeria.’”

In 1961, Nasser asked Warda to take part in a pan-Arab patriotic song called al-Watan al-Akbar (The Great Nation) with some of the most famous singers from the Arab world.

Warda denied rumors that she is in a bad condition physically or psychologically.

“I am at my best and having a good time in Cairo meeting my friends and recording songs for a new album which will be released very soon.”

Another rumor she denied was her objection to a T.V. series about the life of her late husband Egyptian musician Baligh Hamdi, who passed away in 1993.

“I never objected to who will play my role and never asked for the role to be crossed out altogether. I only asked to read the script before shooting begins and I have evry right to do so as I will be portrayed in the series.”

As for who will play her role, Warda said that this is completely the decision of the team working on the series, scheduled to be aired nest Ramadan.

“I totally respect the team and I am sure they respect me and respect Hamdi and that is why they will never present any of us in a way that tarnishes our image.”




(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).

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