CAIRO - Famed Syrian actress Raghda was attacked Wednesday for explicitly supporting President Bashar al-Assad and reciting poetry criticizing Islamists in the region.
She made her daring announcement while attending a cultural event at Cairo’s Opera House, local media reported.
Poet Zine El Abidine Fouad, who witnessed the incident, said through his personal account on the Facebook, "It is the right of Ms. Raghda to support whoever she wants and have a position in favor of Bashar al-Assad and his regime. I do not blame her neither for what she said in the poetic forum nor for wasting the time of the audience and poets.”
"I blame those who allowed her to grab the microphone and turn the hall into a propaganda stage for the regime of Bashar al-Assad."
Known as Raghda in the Arab World, the 55-year-old actress angered some attendees at the Arab Poetry Conference held in the Opera House after reciting some poetry to show her support for Assad, Sada al-Balad news website reported on Wednesday.
According to another local website, al-Masry al-Youm, the Cairo-based actress recited one poem entitled “Slave Market,” depicting how Syrian women are being married off to Islamist Egyptian men to “protect their honor,” compelling a bearded Islamist to interrupt her.
“I am a Muslim but I am not racist,” he said, in reference to her poem, which he viewed as prejudiced against Egyptians.
After Raghda rebuffing the man’s reply, a tumultuous quarrel ensued.
About six men, including the Islamist, attacked her and when other attendees tried to rescue her, they started throwing fire extinguishers.
The actress, who usually speaks Arabic in an Egyptian accent, reportedly sustained one bruise on the back of her head.
She told local media that she has filed a case accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of orchestrating subversive activities in Syria.
“I have put surveillance cameras and an iron fence around my house as I noticed a Syrian man watching me,” she said.
The actress, who is a well-known Assad regime supporter, has long criticized Islamists.