Despite the fact that Jordan claims it is one of the most liberal countries in the Arab world, Lebanese rockers Mashrou’ Leila, who were to perform live in Amman’s Roman amphitheater this Friday, have been denied the right to play, due to the fact that their music encourages religious and sexual autonomy. This brings us to question the significance of art without the shameless beauty of expression.Regardless of the fact that Mashrou’ Leila has already made three musical appearances in Jordan, very sudden changes now stand in the way of the many Jordanian fans who have awaited the 29th of April for so long, as the band will no longer be granted the right to even set foot in Jordan from this day on. The evolutionary process of societal norms and traditions has brought us a long way, but this unanticipated occurrence has brought many to think otherwise. The event was supposed to be an album launch.

Hamed Sinno, the lead singer of Mashrou’ Leila and a prideful homosexual, seems to be part of the reason why the band can no longer perform, as their “endorsement for gender equality and sexual freedom” is frowned upon by Jordan’s Ministry of Tourism, according to the band’s informative Facebook post.

Mashrou’ Leila’s advocacy of liberal religious and political dogmas has brought authorities to reconsider showcasing the event.

“Our understanding is that said authorities have pressured certain political figures and triggered a chain of events that ultimately ended with our authorization being withdrawn.”

~ Mashrou’ Leila

It is also important to note that such cancellation of events has also been happening in Dubai recently.

Whether or not this is morally justifiable in terms of art is not to be contemplated, however, unfortunate occurrences such as these truly show us that this is the reason Mashrou’ Leila are so great. If not for such bigotry, what else would drive them to express themselves the way they do?

– Dany Ayyash.

Read more by: Dany Ayyash

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Mashrou’ Leila