Lebanese Mashrou’ Leila Is Disbanding

Tarek Moukaddem

The four-member Lebanese indie-rock band, Mashrou’ Leila, has disbanded after 14 years of working together, as announced by the band’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno.

The lead singer made the statement on Sunday in an interview with the Lebanese podcast Sarde After Dinner where Sinno stated that “none of the band members are thinking of working together, for now.”

The popular band was founded in 2008 and includes Haig Papazian, Hamed Sinno, Carl Gerges, and Firas Abou Fakher. Since then, the band has been gaining popularity for their unique music mixing eastern and western music.

Mashrou’ Leila has amazed its region-wide fan base with its revolutionary music dealing with taboo topics, such as love, freedom, and queerness through satirical and controversial lyrics.

However, despite their huge fanbase, the band has faced rejection and backlash many times. In 2019, it was banned from performing at the Byblos International Festivals.

Previously, the founding member Haig Papazian said to The Guardian that the band has been suffering from criticism from Lebanese society and the political system.

He also shared about the incident that happened in Cairo in 2017, which had caused the arrest of Egyptian fans from the LGBTQ+ community.

“My thoughts often wandered to Sarah Hegazi, the Egyptian activist who had suffered tragic consequences after waving the rainbow flag at our Cairo gig and was later exiled to Canada,” he stated.

Three years after her arrest by the Egyptian security forces, Sarah Hegazi killed herself in exile in Canada.

Haig then dropped a “bombshell” for The Guardian when he stated that they have tried to seek shelter abroad, but they were faced with many challenges and discrimination.

Mashrou’ Leila was also banned from many countries, including Jordan for allegedly “inciting a revolutionary feeling in people.”

In recent years, the band has been carrying the muted voices of the Middle-Eastern LGBTQ+ community, who are hiding themselves to avoid criticism and judgment.

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