Head of victorious Mayyas dance troupe in Lebanon reprimands politicians


The choreographer who led a Lebanese dance troupe that rose to fame by winning the “America’s Got Talent” TV competition berated Lebanese politicians and called for revolution when they returned to Beirut on Friday.

Dozens of family members offered the Mayyas troupe flowers at the Beirut airport, while thousands of Lebanese sat glued to their televisions to catch a glimpse of the artists who filled them with pride and joy in a country devastated by nearly three year of economic crisis.

“We don’t need you (politicians), Mayyas made Lebanon proud without your help,” choreographer Nadim Cherfan told UKTN at Beirut airport, echoing the frustration of many Lebanese who blame the political class for the misery of the country.

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His remark was a stumbling block to top Lebanese politicians who had praised the group, including the country’s president and prime minister.

Amid Lebanon’s worst economic crisis ever, the national currency has lost more than 90 percent of its black market value since 2019, while poverty and unemployment have risen.

Reflecting deep popular discontent, five banks were stormed Friday by savers trying to unlock savings frozen in the banking system after the economy collapsed.

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“People need to break all the banks, shake up the country and turn politicians around,” Cherfan said.

Mayyas picked up a $1 million prize this week and the chance to headline a show in Las Vegas for their extravagant television appearance that featured belly dancing, feather fans and white orbs.

Judges and viewers praised the group for their hypnotic and mesmerizing performances, despite prolonged hardships at home, including long daily power cuts.

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The Lebanese authorities are hardly able to provide citizens and residents with the basic necessities of life.

Lebanon is suffering power cuts lasting up to 22 hours as the cramped state can no longer afford fuel.

“Your job is to feed the hungry people and bring electricity,” Cherfan told the politicians.

“As artists, we are in the midst of an artistic revolution,” he added, in a clear reference to a 2019 anti-government protest movement that many Lebanese called a revolution.


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