Ad­vert broad­cast to help raise awareness to crises across the Mus­lim world

The National - News - - RAMADAN 1439 - NASER AL WASMI

The Kuwaiti tele­coms com­pany Zain’s lat­est Ra­madan tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tise­ment fea­tures a young refugee boy singing to looka­likes of some the world’s most pow­er­ful lead­ers, in­clud­ing Don­ald Trump, Vladimir Putin and An­gela Merkel.

In the first scene, the young boy wishes Mr Trump “Ra­madan ka­reem” and in­vites him to if­tar at his house, “if he can find it in the de­bris”.

Later scenes show a se­ries of world lead­ers tak­ing part in the boy’s life, with Mr Putin din­ing with his fam­ily, some of whom have lost limbs.

Mrs Merkel is shown watch­ing as refugees crammed on to in­flat­able boats pad­dling with their hands to­wards a Euro­pean shore.

Next, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks in at the boy’s bed­room as it trans­forms from some­thing in an Ikea cat­a­logue into rub­ble, while sub­se­quent scenes show the refugee cri­sis cre­ated by the Myan­mar mil­i­tary’s crack­down on the Ro­hingya Mus­lim mi­nor­ity.

The fi­nal scenes show the boy vis­it­ing an im­pris­oned lit­tle girl – a looka­like of Ahed Al Tamimi, 17, the Pales­tinian ac­tivist sen­tenced to eight months in jail by Is­rael. He breaks the lock on her cell and they leave hand in hand. The next shot is of them walk­ing to­wards the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem singing: “Our if­tar will be in Jerusalem, the cap­i­tal of Pales­tine.”

Zain has been screen­ing sim­i­lar ad­ver­tise­ments since the late 2000s. This one was re­leased on Wed­nes­day, two days af­ter the US gov­ern­ment moved its em­bassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, rev­ers­ing decades of pol­icy and pro­vok­ing an out­burst of vi­o­lence.

As the boy and girl ap­proach Al Aqsa Mosque, they are flanked by six men in tra­di­tional Ara­bian Gulf clothes, rep­re­sent­ing the six lead­ers of the GCC coun­tries.

Joy Pro­duc­tions, the Kuwaiti stu­dio be­hind the ad­ver­tise­ment, has been pro­duc­ing Zain’s com­mer­cials for al­most a decade. Its Ra­madan ad last year, by the same di­rec­tor, tackled the topic of sui­cide bombing and ter­ror­ist at­tacks and be­came an overnight vi­ral hit in the Arab world, with 13 mil­lion views so far.

It jux­ta­posed a sui­cide bomber on his way to det­o­nate him­self con­fronted with the maimed and bloody bod­ies of bombing vic­tims.

This year’s ad had more than a mil­lion views on its first day.

Ra­madan is Arab tele­vi­sion’s busiest sea­son, with ad­ver­tis­ing rates at a pre­mium.


Zain’s lat­est Ra­madan tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tise­ment fea­tures a young refugee boy wish­ing Mr Trump ‘Ra­madan ka­reem’

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