The duet of Elisa and Saad Lamjarred .. accusations of “normalization of rape” and calls for a boycott

Lebanese singer Elissa and Moroccan artist Saad Lamjarred performed a joint romantic duet on Wednesday, entitled “From the First Minute”, in collaboration with Eid al-Fitr, written by Amir Taima and composed by Ramy Jamal.

And the lyrical work quickly caused a sensation on social networking sites, even before it was released, as questions and criticism about it have arisen since the beginning of its promotion on the official accounts of both Elissa and Al- Mujadred.

The song was at the top of the trend list in several Arab countries, including Lebanon, where it achieved more than 3 million views on the Elisa channel on YouTube 24 hours after its launch, and ranked second as the most listened song. A large number of pioneers of social networking sites in the Arab countries expressed their admiration for the song and its romantic nature, in addition to its lyrics and melodies.

“I woke up with these figures: 1.7 million views on YouTube. 2.4 million views on Instagram,” Elissa said in a tweet Thursday morning, expressing her happiness with the echoes of her new artwork.

While the views of the listeners on the communication sites with the song varied, the broader controversy came from a corner far from the song itself, to launch the same collaboration between Elisa and Al-Mujjard, severe criticism that reached the point of calls for a boycott of the work and behind it the Lebanese artist, in protest against what feminist groups and activists defending women’s rights describe as: “Promoting a rapist”, referring to Lamjarred, who through various accusations of violence , harassment and rape of a number of women at different times and places.

The attacking campaigns have focused on the Lebanese artist since she published the promotional video for her new song, as she presents herself, through her work and by defining herself, as a defender of women’s rights, who is seen by activists as a double responsibility on Elissa so that she does not fall into the effects of what has been described as “normalization of rape and violence.” And to polish a picture of Lamjarred, ”and Elissa requested to freeze the duet and not promote it.

The “Palestinian Feminist” association mentioned the history of the Moroccan artist and the number of cases of violence and sexual assault of which he is accused in various countries. The association said, “Elissa advertises for a work of art with Lamjarred with full knowledge that he is accused of” beating women until they lose consciousness to rape them. ”

In turn, the Speak Up initiative on Twitter, which supports victims of violence, especially women, posted the photo that Elissa and Lamjarred collected in the promotional ad for the song, and attached it to a comment: “Why is it is possible for someone to decide to do a song with a person who is accused of more than one case of rape and is in prison more than once and for the same reason is forbidden to enter such a country ?

The report from the Lebanese “Partner but” website, which specializes in supporting women’s issues, commented on Elissa’s announcement, saying: “It is not expected of an artist who has included several lyrical works in her artistic archive to to support women, and they support like Elissa, to fall into the trap of giving legitimacy to an accused with various rape cases, such as Saad Lamjarred. “.

He added, “With great laughter, love and harmony, Elissa rejected the testimonies of several survivors who exposed their exposure to violence and sexual assault by the Moroccan artist … A Challenging and Disappointing Image, a Promotional Ad for joint action, which reflected an underestimation of a moral, humanitarian and feminist issue. ”

Despite the criticism and the campaigns, Elissa continued to promote her new job without commenting on what affected her. Al-Hurra tried to communicate with Elissa to give her the right to respond to the allegations against her, but her business manager conveyed to her reluctance to comment on the matter.

It is noteworthy that Lamjarred is charged with 4 cases of violence and rape, in none of which a final verdict was issued to prove the accusation against the Moroccan singer, the first of which was in 2010, when an American girl accused him of it. accused him of assaulting her. , which led to his arrest on suspicion of rape in the year itself in New York, to be returned and released in exchange for a financial bail, after which he left the United States permanently, and did not return there.

In 2017, French authorities arrested Lamjarred on suspicion of sexual assault and rape again, after a French girl accused him of sexually assaulting her in his hotel room. To be returned and released with a judicial mitigation for trial, he is required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and the case has evolved in his judicial track as the appellate court overturns the mitigation ruling and reclassifies the charge into the category of crimes after it had previously been classified as an offense, as the court in the case “considered sufficient charges to describe the facts as rape.”

In the same year, a French-Moroccan girl was again accused of raping and beating her in Casablanca in 2015. The plaintiff later withdrew from the case and the court decided to dismiss the case in this part of the file .

One year later, he was subjected to a fourth indictment of the same type, brought against him by a girl in 2018, against the background of an incident that took place in the coastal city of Saint-Tropez in the southeast of France.

It has already launched on several occasions and country several campaigns against Lamjar. The pioneers of social networking sites in Egypt expressed their rejection over Lamjarred’s visit to Egypt to perform a concert in 2020, as the concert ads were withdrawn by the organizer “out of respect for the Egyptians”, as she put it .

Last October, witnessing the cancellation of a media interview with the Moroccan artist was also on one of the Egyptian channels, where the campaign “We do not want Seed Lamjarred in Egypt” was launched due to the accusations against him, after which the Egyptian channel succumbed. put under pressure and the maintenance stopped.

Saad Lamjarred confirmed in a press release that he and Elissa were in a hurry to implement the song when they met in the French capital, Paris, and said that the “chemistry” between them was high, and that it was his heart “of entered the first minute “. “. He filmed the track’s track in Paris, and included scenes from the scenes of the song’s preparation in the studio, simply saying he was optimistic about its success.

The Moroccan artist has previously defended himself in press releases, describing the raising of these issues as an attempt to interfere in his personal life, an appeal to the public not to focus on the artists ‘personal lives, and’ calls for a separation between these issues and the artworks. in which the artist makes his effort and appeals to the public to what he has described By “turning page, crossing the subject”.

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