Culture And Media

Egypt: Pop singer tackles swine flu with song

Cairo, 30 April (AKI) - An Egyptian pop singer will soon release a song about the global swine flu emergency to alert authorities to contain the pandemic, local daily al-Masri al-Youm said on Thursday.

"A new tragedy has been added to our tragedies and the situation is dire. I tell you and I warn you that a dangerous disease for man is spreading in two countries, America and Mexico," say the lyrics to be sung by Shaaban Abdel Rahim.

"It is not just the birds, but also pigs. If you see a pig, you must quickly fly away!" the song's lyrics say.

Abdel Rahim is widely known for his politically-charged lyrics and flamboyant style.

He has released controversial hits such as, "I hate Israel (But I love Amr Moussa)", "Don't Strike Iraq" and a song about the Prophet Mohammed cartoon controversy "We’re All Out of Patience".

Islam Khalil, writer of the new song, is convinced that god will protect other animals from swine flu, as he launched an appeal to Egyptian authorities.

"The lord will protect cats and dogs," he said.

"We have closed factories and killed many birds. We need a government decree to kill the pigs: Why is it that pigs continue to live, when people's lives are being sacrificed?"

On Wednesday, the government of president Hosni Mubarak announced a plan to cull 400,000 pigs in a bid to quell panic in the country.

The United Nations said the plan by the Egyptian government was a "real mistake".

There have not been any reported cases of swine flu in Egypt, however, the country was hard hit by the the H5N1 virus, or bird flu.

The World Health Organization has raised its alert for swine flu to the second highest level and urged all countries to intensify their preparations for a global pandemic.

The move to a phase five alert means there is sustained human-to-human spread in at least two countries in one region.

WHO has warned that a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.




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