Egyptian actor Muhammad Ramadan has come under fire over the weekend after an Emirati journalist posted a photo of the star embracing Israeli singer Omer Adam during a trip to the United Arab Emirates.
The picture gained further traction when it was retweeted by the State of Israel’s Arabic Twitter account under the caption “Art brings us together.”
The photo was initially posted by Emirati journalist Hamad Al Mazrouei on his Twitter account, captioning the shot: “The most famous artist in Egypt with the most famous artist in Israel, Dubai brings us together.” However he later deleted the picture as outrage grew.
Though Egypt officially has ties with Israel, its government has not encouraged a warm peace with the Jewish state and normalization remains frowned upon there. That’s in stark contrast to the UAE, which has attempted to foster cultural exchange and warm relations between peoples in its brand-new normalization with Israel.
Ramadan appeared to remark that he was unaware or unconcerned by Adam’s heritage. He would post a picture of himself with fans, saying: “There is no room for me to ask everyone about his identity, color, nationality, and religion.”
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi recently welcomed the normalization deal between Israel and the UAE when it was announced, voicing his support for “any steps that would bring peace” to the Middle East.