On August 26th, the Egyptian superstar Mohamed Ramadan started a huge controversy after posting about getting an honorary doctorate from the International German Culture Center (IGCC) in Lebanon. Also claiming to have been named “The ambassador to the Arab youth, “Ramadan thanked the Lebanese Minister of Culture and the Musician’s Syndicate head for such an honour.
However, immediately after this post, people started questioning the legitimacy of the institution, and only a few days later, the German Embassy in Egypt responded.
The German Embassy posted on Facebook, saying, “We are flattered to see the number of people who love the word ‘German’, but please bear in mind that not every institution offering or using the word ‘German’ belongs to the German government”.
A few days later, the Musician’s Syndicate head told Alwatan newspaper that neither he nor the Ministry of Culture gave Ramadan the title or the doctorate. It was a private committee that gave him this honour, and the Musician’s Syndicate head simply attended the ceremony.
Alwatan newspaper took the time to dig deeper and found more information about The International German Culture Centre. Alwatan talked to Mahmoud El-Khatib, head of IGCC, who said that anyone could get a doctorate similar to the one Mohamed Ramadan got if they pay the membership fees, which are only $100.
In another statement by Mahmoud El Khatib to the Palestinian magazine “Donya El Watan”, he said that the IGCC offers a variety of activities, including poetry, human development, and barbering workshops.
Almost a day later, the IGCC issued a statement saying that they didn’t know anything about the incident involving Mohamed Ramadan and the Egyptian pilot and that they have decided to withdraw the doctorate from Mohamed Ramadan.
Mohamed Ramadan tried to fix the situation by visiting the Beirut harbour martyrs memorial wearing the Lebanese army uniform and placing a flower wreath on the memorial, according to the Akhbar El Youm news website.