Rabat – Photos of singer Cheb Faudel, who was originally Algerian, bowing to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI recently caused an uproar among Algerian media.
The singer bowed to King Mohamed during his performance at the closing ceremony of the sixth annual International Festival Jawhara on August 6 in El Jadida, about 96 km south of Casablanca.
During a press conference, prior to his performance, Faudel had expressed his pride in being a Moroccan citizen holding up his Moroccan ID card to show the audience that he now has Moroccan nationality. He had also praised the monarch, saying “Our King Mohammed VI, May God bless him and prolong his life – he granted me many things – he is the King of Africa.”
Faudel also stated during the press conference that Algerians love King Mohammed VI, and urged that the border between Morocco and Algeria be opened up.
At the height of his performance on stage, Faudel turned to a large photo of King Mohammed VI and bowed in front of it for a few seconds just before dedicating one of his songs to the king.
Echourouk Online, an Algerian online publication, asserted last Thursday that Faudel had disappeared after Algeria closed its doors in Faudel’s face due to his performance in Dakhla, a city in the south of Morocco described by the publication as “occupied.”
The publication reported that Faudel’s bow to King Mohammed VI had aroused the resentment of Algerians. It asserted that Faudel is a “failure” because he had not lately emulated his previous successes by producing any blockbuster songs.
Echourouk Online added that in showing his Moroccan ID card to the audience, Faudel was simply trying to win the hearts of “the Makhzen” just so he would be invited to perform at other festivals in Morocco even though his artistic career is “in decline.”
In a video posted on YouTube last Wednesday by Algerié Vidéo, the commentator called Faudel’s bow to the Moroccan King a “scandal,” and deplored Faudel’s “obedience to his master King Mohammed VI.”
Edited by Elisabeth Myers