Arab Singer's 'Monkey' Lyric Enrages Nubians

Black Egyptians demand song be banned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 1:44 AM CST
Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe arrives at the Cannes film festival.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(Newser) – Egypt's 2 million-strong black community has been outraged by a Lebanese pop song that refers to them as monkeys. The song by Haifa Wehbe, one of the Arab's world's biggest stars, includes a child singing: "Where is my teddy bear and the Nubian monkey?" Nubian lawyers have filed an official complaint, saying the song has fueled discrimination against them.

"To compare a human being to an animal is insulting in any culture," a Nubian shop owner in Cairo told the Guardian. "She has denigrated an entire community of people, and now some of our children are afraid to go into school because they know they will be called monkeys in the playground." Wehbe has apologized for the lyrics, saying they were written by an Egyptian lyricist who told her "Nubian monkey" was a children's game.