On Wednesday, the Arabic version of the popular talent show The Voice replaced Emirati singer Ahlam with Kuwaiti musical icon Nawal El Kuwaitia.
El Kuwaitia confirmed the news in a tweet on her official account saying that she will be joining Elissa, Assi Al-Hallani, and Mohammed Hamaki in the upcoming season.
"I would like to thank MBC channel for inviting me to participate on The Voice as a member of the jury," she tweeted.
According to Arab News, the decision to terminate Ahlam from the show was due to a tweet she had posted on her official account saying "I wish fine and true art would come back".
This, apparently, was in response to a new song that was released called "Tell Qatar”.
The song delivers a strong message to Qatar warning it against its hostile policy towards Arab countries and calling on the nation to stop supporting terrorism.
So far, MBC has neither confirmed nor denied the reports but did say that a change in had occurred and they are "currently working on completing the technical and logistical issues caused by this modification".
"Ahlam has been terminated from The Voice show and MBC, and the well-known Nawal El Kuwaitia will be the show's star among the other judges"
This is how Ahlam responded:
"...always Emirati and proud."
"Nobody can question my loyalty, belonging, and love to my country UAE, no hater or spiteful person can question it neither from the days of (Tar El Shar Ya Zayed) up to this day and forever, no matter what the spiteful do, always Emirati and proud."
Ahlam went on to say that she still loves MBC...
"MBC, my love for you guys will never change, you were my first home and a big support, so thanks for your appreciation."
This is how social media reacted:
"Ahlam, whether we agree or disagree about the good and bad of her personality, it's unfair that she's being terribly attacked. It is unacceptable that she's being terminated because of the nationality of her husband and children. The woman has been neutral about the current gulf situation."
"I may have conflicts with Ahlam, and I might be the person who's attacked her the most, and she's filed a million cases against me with lawyer Bader Baqer. Nevertheless, what Ahlam is facing is morally inappropriate! You cannot stop an artist's media appearance just because she expressed her opinion or because she refused to sing a song against another country!"
Adeela commented as well...
"Whether we like Ahlam or not, the public's reaction today and their sympathy has proven that she's a very influential person in the Arab world, and her journey will not be affected, or end based on her participation in a show or not"
The MBC statement:
The Voice was scheduled to air on December 2.