For those of us who have grown up on Arabic music, Cheb Mami has been an icon. The man who singularly revived on the international stage no less Algerian music, Cheb Mami is an icon with years worth of hits and collaboration with such international stars such as Sting.
But, sadly, Cheb Mami will no longer be entertaining fans for sometime to come.
A French court has jailed Mami, real name Mohammed Khalifati, to five years in jail after the artist was arrested and found guilty of detaining a women against her will and attempting to abort her unborn child.
Chem Mami was romantically involved with a French photography sometime around 2005. The relationship ended, but then the unidentified photography visited Mami in the Algerian capital of Algiers in 2005 to inform him she was pregnant. A panicking Mami detained the home and along side his manager and other members of his entourage they took the woman to a far-off small village and attempted to abort her child.
Upon returning to France, the woman realized she was still pregnant and has since, of course, given birth to the child.
Cheb Mami apologized to the woman in court, admitting that his actions were wrong and that he panicking because he did not love her and thus did not want the child.
But his apologize did not win him an easy sentence from French jurists. And rightly so. Mami’s actions are beyond disgusting. They are abhorrent beyond belief. He deserves jail time.