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Syrian Opposition Figures Concerned about Assala’s Arrest in Beirut | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Singer Assala Nasri with her husband while departing Beirut on Monday. (Assala’s Facebook account)

Beirut, Cairo – The arrest of famous Syrian singer Assala Nasri in Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport on Sunday night for carrying cocaine prompted a dispute in the entertainment circles and the concern of Syrian opposition figures, who frequently travel to Lebanon to participate in political forums.

Lebanon’s National News Agency reported on Monday that the airport’s Internal Security Forces arrested Assala at the security check for the possession of 2g of cocaine placed in her small plastic make-up bag.

Assala returned to Cairo after she was released on bail.

Reports said she left Beirut at 2:15am on Monday on board a Turkish Airways plane.

Syrian opposition artists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the singer’s arrest was a message for Syrian artists living in Beirut, or those who visit the country to participate in dramatic works.

“The subject is ridiculous and it only aims to distort her image. Assala is well known for her good conduct in the artistic circles. The reasonable people will refuse to believe such news,” a source close to the Syrian singer told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

Assala could not be reached for comment.

Her husband, Egyptian director Tarek Al-Eryan denied that Assala was a drug user or was addicted to cocaine.

He said that what happened at the airport in Beirut is “fabricated” and that the accusations against her were “far from the truth.”

However, he refused to give more details.

Assala was welcomed by a number of her friends at Cairo’s airport.

Sources in Beirut said high-ranking Lebanese figures had personally intervened to end the singer’s crisis at the airport in Beirut.

Meanwhile, Assala posted a photo from the plane on her Facebook account, accompanied by her husband.

It is worth noting that in 2013, Lebanon’s security apparatus had confiscated the passport of Assala before returning it five days later.