To say fans are disappointed by Jordan's decision to ban Mashrou' Leila from performing for the second year in a row would be a bit of an understatement.
Jordan's Interior Minister Ghaleb Zuabi said the ban will curb "the exploitation of such performances for the implementation of certain agendas that may lead to internal disagreements." The Lebanese band's lead singer is openly gay and the group has taken a strongly pro-LGBTQ stance, while also highlighting other significant social issues in the Arab world.
But in classy and eloquent style, the indie group released a video apologizing to their fans for the cancellation, explaining that the decision would not change their music production in any way.
Released on Wednesday evening, the video has since gone viral, garnering more than 150,000 views on Facebook, as well as thousands of shares and likes, at the time of writing.
The bands music is relevant to Arab society
"Our music tackles issues that we can't ignore in our societies," lead singer Hamed Sinno says in the clip, speaking in Arabic.
He goes on to list "personal freedoms, women's rights, LGBTIQ rights, the lack of gun control, and elitism," as issues discussed in the group's songs.
Sinno also points out that Arab musical artists throughout history have tackled these societal issues.
"We cannot accept the idea that they are at odds with our customs and traditions," he says. "Unless those traditions are built on denying reality."
In closing, the band promises to continue making their music "the way it is, and the way we are."
Fans were quick to comment with their support
Fans don't think the band needs to apologize
Some are making interesting points
And some are looking at the "bright side"
Mashrou' Leila was scheduled to perform in the Jordanian capital on June 27, having gained approval from the country's tourism ministry and obtained all necessary licenses.
Tens of ministers and members of parliament had reportedly signed a petition against the performance, only to be followed by an official decision by the ministry of interior.
This comes a year after Jordanian authorities decided to ban the band from performing in Amman, announcing the decision only a few days before the concert was set to take place on April 29, 2016.